The Prime Minister Attends the Memorial Ceremony for the War Dead
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The ceremony marks the Day to Commemorate the War Dead and Pray for Peace, as well as the 63rd anniversary of the end of the Second World War. Approximately 6,000 people participated, including Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the House of Councillors, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, representatives of related organizations, and bereaved family members. Participants paid their heartfelt respects to all those people who lost their lives in the last world war.
After the singing of the national anthem, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda gave his address, saying, "During the war more than three million people died, including those who fell on the battlefields and at the home front. Among the war dead were those who lost their lives during the aftermath of the war in remote foreign countries. Those people died wishing their homeland to prosper and thinking of their families. Moreover, Japan caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations" and expressed his feelings of profound remorse and sincere mourning for all the victims of the war.
The Prime Minister also stated that, "Today, on the 63rd anniversary of the end of the war, Japan renews its pledge not to engage in war and vows to stand at the fore of the international community as a Peace Fostering Nation in order to actively work toward the establishment of lasting world peace."
As the clock struck noon, heartfelt prayers were offered to all of the war dead for the repose of their souls. Following the address of His Majesty The Emperor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the House of Councillors, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the representative of the bereaved family members of war dead each gave their memorial address. Afterwards, representatives of all the sectors of society led by Prime Minister Fukuda and the representative of the bereaved family members offered flowers while commemorating the war dead.