"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo


[Place] Bandung, Indonesia
[Date] April 19, 2015
[Source] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic of Indonesia
[Notes] The actual address given by this Delegation was spoken in the Japanese language. The following is the text of the translation which the Delegation issued during the Conference.
[Full text]

Mr. President,

Your Royal Highnesses,

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen.

It is most gratifying that, thanks to the arduous labours on the part of the sponsor Governments, the representatives of many countries of Asia and Africa are able to enjoy this unique opportunity of meeting in a conference, historic in character, to exchange views on problems of mutual interest.

This Conference is an event unparalleled in the annuals of mankind. In fact, it its eminently symbolic of the spirit if Asian-African renaissance. The Japanese Government being fully aware of the importance of this Conference, our Prime Minister was anxious to attend. Unfortunately, owing to the Diet now in session which requires his constant attendance, I have come to take his place. I bring to you all the cordial greetings of the Japanese Prime Minister, Mt. Ichiro Hatoyama, and his best wishes for the success of this Conference. It affords me a great pleasure to take part in this momentous Conference and state the hopes and aspirations of the Japanese people as a member of the Asian-African region.

I understand the chief objective of this Conference is to promote neighborly amity and mutual understanding among the peoples of Asian-African region and to study intimately their common problems of the day in order to explore the means of establishing an enduring peace This objective tallies exactly with the aim of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights calculated to preserve peace, freedom and justice. It will, I trust, appeal to all men and women who have at their hearts the progress of mankind. Japan as one of the Asiatic nations whose destiny is identical with that of Asia cannot but attach the greatest importance to this Conference.

It would be trite to say that the Asian-African region is the cradle of world civilization. The glorious traditions of our past constitute part and parcel of the contemporary civilization, and they do form the life-blood that throbs within us. As such, these serve as the foundation of the sense of racial kinship among the Asian-African Peoples. In spite, however, of the fact that these races are the pioneers of civilization, and they are possessed of abundant and material resources, they have fallen behind in economic, scientific and technological development. We should, I think, recognize this fact and should achieve genuine independence and progress through self-help and mutual co-operation. I hope this Conference will light the beacon of Asian-African renaissance and that we will once again raise high the torch-light of our indigenous civilization.

To survey the world situation of today, international tensions still unfortunately continue, obstructing both political stabilization and economic advancement of nations. The world has seen within the span of one generation two calamitous wars; it is not yet assured of peace. If nations do not abolish war, war will abolish nations. Prompted, therefore, by an earnest desire to save mankind from utter annihilation we must examine coolly and carefully the factors of international tension that may lead to war, and cooperate most sincerely for the eradication of those factors.

In World War II, Japan, I regret to say, inflicted damages upon her neighbour nations, but ended by bringing untold miseries upon herself. She has re-established democracy, having learned her lesson at immense costs in lives and property. Chastened and free, she is today a nation completely dedicated to peace. As the only people who have experienced the horrors of atomic bombs, we have no illusion whatever about the enormity of an attempt to solve international dispute by force.

Consequently, it has become our immutable policy to establish firmly peaceful democracy at home. Indeed, the new Japan is founded on peace and democracy. Thus, to work hard in hand with other democratic nations and to cultivate friendly relations with all peaceful countries of the world, and thereby to contribute positively to the establishment of world peace, is the guiding principle of Japan’s foreign policy.

Needless to say, our fundamental policy is to uphold the principles and purposes of the United Nations which we believe is the best system yet devised for the maintenance of international peace and security on a basis of mutual trust. I wish to avail myself of this occasion to declare afresh that Japan has renounced war as an instrument of national policy, and has forsworn force as a means of settling international disputes; and that she is a nation dedicated to the cause of peace and democracy.

The world’s most urgent need today is, I submit, to ban the use of force in any part of the globe and to establish the custom of settling by peaceful negotiation all manner of international disputes. And I believe the Asian-African countries should set an example in this respect.

The present Conference, by promoting mutual understanding and neighborly amity among the Asian-African countries, can contribute vastly to world peace and, at the same time, accelerate the economic progress of their entire region.

I have spoken of the scientific and technological lag of Asia and Africa. Introduction of modern science and technology is the indispensable condition for all Asian-African countries for achieving economic development as well as winning their rightful place in the society of nations.

I wish to pay my sincere respect for the Asian-African nations who are overcoming many and manifold difficulties and are endeavoring strenuously in building up their economies. By inducting the needed capital and technology through the United Nations and other organs of international co-operation, the potential resources within these countries will be better utilized with consequent rise in the living standards of the broad masses of the people. Japan is anxious to contribute her share to promotion of economic co-operation for the common prosperity of the region.

Finally, I desire to stress the importance of cultural exchange. The countries participating in this Conference possess splendid cultures of their own, and, at the same time, they all share in common spiritual heritages. Unfortunately, within this great circle of culture here has not been enough of cultural interchange. Channels for mutual edification and enlightenment are admittedly few and meagre. While adhering to the principle of respecting one another’s political system and way of living the nations of the of scholars and artists, so as to enhance mutual understanding and to enrich our lives both materially and spiritually. That, I believe, will greatly conduce to general peace.

In the light of the foregoing statement, the Japanese Delegation will submit to the Conference certain proposals on economic and cultural co-operation together with a proposal for the maintenance of international peace. I request that these be given careful consideration by the honorable delegates.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the world is now entering upon the age of nuclear energy. Whether nuclear energy is to become a deadly instrument of destruction that will extinguish the human race, or it is turned to peace uses to bestow infinite benefit on mankind, will depend solely upon the intelligence of man. The proper choice is possible only on a high plane of spiritual culture. It is time, I believe, we the peoples of the Asian-African region went to work together to build the edifice for permanent peace, on a foundation of the moral and spiritual values handed down to them from the ages past.