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Message from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the Occasion of National Foundation Day

Monday, February 10, 2014

[Provisional Translation]

National Foundation Day is a public holiday established in law with the purpose of "recalling the founding of the nation and cultivating a mindset of love of the nation."

I consider this national holiday to be a truly significant day on which each Japanese person thinks about the efforts made by our forebears from ages past in tenaciously building the foundations for Japan's current prosperity and pledges to develop the nation still further.  In light of this, I have decided to deliver this message to you, the Japanese people.

Japan has been called Mizuho no Kuni - Land of Abundant Rice - since ancient times.  As that name implies, since ancient times, we Japanese have had a rich tradition of working together to cultivate the fields, sharing water, helping each other supplement for what is scarce, praying for a huge harvest for all, and creating rural districts of beauty and an exquisite society.

Japan is moreover blessed with striking natural scenes across four seasons, and we have made use of these to foster a magnificent a culture to be proud of around the world.

Within this long history, we have also experienced natural disasters, war, and other ordeals any number of times.  Yet we have built up today's nation of peace and abundance through the untiring efforts of each and every Japanese individual and fostered a national character that places universal freedom, democracy, and human rights in very high regard.

The duties incumbent upon us are to express deep respect for such efforts by those who have gone before us and to develop further this peace and prosperity and pass it down so that the next generation can also live their lives with peace of mind.

We will advance reforms that carve out our future ten or a hundred years hence and push forward with cultivating the human resources that will shoulder the responsibilities of years to come.  We will at the same time play a proactive role in addressing international issues and go forward as "a Japan that has pride," which brings about world peace and stability.  These are what I consider to be the mission entrusted to us by our forebears.

As we observe National Foundation Day, I feel keenly once again the responsibility to make the nation we love, Japan, a more beautiful nation that has pride, and I have renewed my determination in this regard.

I sincerely hope that for you, my fellow citizens, National Foundation Day will be an opportunity to appreciate the efforts made by people who went before us as you look back on the path Japan has taken until now, as well as an opportunity to aspire to create prosperity for Japan, heading towards a future in which we are able to have self-confidence and pride.

Shinzo Abe
Prime Minister of Japan
February 11, 2014

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