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Speeches and Statements by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi

(Provisional Translation)

Address by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi at the 58th Memorial Ceremony for the War Dead

In the presence of Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress of Japan and with the attendance of bereaved family members of war dead and many distinguished representatives of all sectors of society, here today on the occasion of the annual Memorial Ceremony for the War Dead, I would like to say a few words on behalf of the Government.

Fifty-eight years have passed since the last war ended. In the fierce fighting more than three million Japanese lost their lives on the battlefield, succumbed to the ravages of war, or passed away in some distant foreign land after the war, reminiscent of their homeland and anxious about their families. We can never forget that the peace and prosperity that we currently enjoy are founded on the ultimate sacrifices made by those who lost their lives in spite of themselves. I offer my heartfelt prayers for the repose of their souls, and from the bottom of my heart, I offer my genuine respect and appreciation to them.

During the war, Japan caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations. On behalf of the people of Japan, I hereby renew my feelings of profound remorse as I express my sincere mourning to the victims.

After the war, upholding peace as its national policy, Japan has overcome numerous difficulties and achieved startling development toward the realization of a peaceful and rich nation through the unremitting efforts of its people.

Looking back on the past with humility, as well as firmly maintaining the nation's antiwar pledge never to repeat war, I will exert all my efforts so that Japan further develops its friendly relations with countries all over the world, and as a member of the international community, actively contributes to establishing lasting world peace.

In concluding my address, I recall the still relentless, profound suffering and sorrow of the families of the war dead and offer my heartfelt prayers for their peace of mind.

August 15, 2003

Junichiro Koizumi
Prime Minister of Japan