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Statement by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi On Their Majesties' Visit to Saipan Island
April 26, 2005
I am pleased to announce that Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan will visit Saipan Island, a territory of the United States of America, to mourn and pay tribute to those who died in the war in this 60th year after the end of the war.
Their Majesties visited various regions in Japan to mourn and pay tribute to those who died in the war and to pray for peace in the 50th year after the end of the war. On this historic year of the passing of sixty years since the end of the war, the Government of Japan has advised Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress to pay an overseas visit for the same purpose. Saipan Island was chosen as the destination of the visit, where in addition to military personnel, many civilians lost their lives, and where the Government of Japan has erected the Memorial Monument of the War Dead as one of the main overseas memorials.
Both the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands welcome the visit by Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress.
Their Majesties have long expressed the intent to mourn for those who died in the previous war, not to forget the sorrow of the bereaved families, and to continue to wish for world peace. I am extremely grateful for Their Majesties' thoughts.
I would like to express my sincere hope for Their Majesties' safe journey and return home.