"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 11, 2017
[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, provide for each other when there is need, and help each other hand in hand. 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, building the peaceful and prosperous nation of the current day through persistent unceasing efforts, cultivating a national character that protects freedom and democracy, respects human rights, and upholds the rule of law. The advances Japan enjoys today lie atop the foundation of the untiring efforts of each Japanese.

We, the generation alive at this moment, have a great responsibility to pass down the precious peace and prosperity of today to future generations, and to make the maximum possible effort towards achieving peace and prosperity in Japan and the world, as we make a sustained effort to overcome difficult challenges in a future-oriented manner while contemplating the significance of the footprints those ancestors left.

As we observe National Foundation Day, I have renewed my determination to carve out a better future, preserving traditions, while at the same time, never fearing change.

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, 2017