"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

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

[Date] February 10, 2016
[Source] Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet
[Notes] Provisional Translation
[Full text]

National Foundation Day is a public holiday for the purpose of "recalling the founding of the nation and cultivating a mindset of love of the nation." It is a national holiday on which each Japanese person thinks about the efforts made by our forebears from ages past in bringing the country to where it is today, and renews his or her hopes for the further development of the nation.

Japan is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty that can be enjoyed every season. Throughout its long history, Japan has fostered a unique culture and distinctive traditions to be proud of around the world. A beautiful society has been created in which people pray for a huge harvest for all, work together to cultivate the fields, share water, and help each other supplement for what is scarce. Through its wisdom and ingenuity, Japan has faced and maintained harmony with nature, and simultaneously, contributed significantly to human activities in a variety of areas, including the advancement of science and technology.

Throughout our long history, Japan has countless times faced great difficulties and severe trials, but each time, our ancestors brought themselves to their feet full of courage and hope, cultivating a national character that protects freedom and democracy, respects human rights, and upholds the rule of law. The peace and prosperity we enjoy today lie atop the foundation of the untiring efforts of each Japanese.

We, the generation alive at this moment, have a great responsibility to respond to various changes in the environment as we protect the precious peace and prosperity of the current day while contemplating the significance of the footprints those ancestors left, and pass down these superb traditions to our children's and grandchildren's generations. As we observe National Foundation Day, I have renewed my determination to tackle various challenges head on, never fearing change, and to carve out a better future.

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 pursue further prosperity for Japan.

Shinzo Abe

Prime Minister of Japan

February 11, 2016