"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] Address by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Nagasaki Peace Memorial Ceremony

[Date] August 9, 2017
[Source] Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet
[Notes] Provisional translation
[Full text]

Today, on the occasion of the 72nd anniversary Nagasaki Peace Memorial Service for the Atomic Bomb Victims, I reverently express my sincere condolences to the souls of the great number of atomic bomb victims.

I also extend my heartfelt sympathy to those still suffering even now from the aftereffects of the atomic bomb.

Seventy-two years have passed since the day that a single atomic bomb deprived a great number of people, said to number 70,000, of their precious lives in a single instant. Even those who narrowly escaped death were made to suffer unbearable hardships. People found themselves cruelly and suddenly robbed of their dreams and futures.

However, the people of Nagasaki rose from amidst the dreadful ruins and destruction left by the atomic bomb, building up a marvelous International Culture City through their tireless efforts.

The disaster that took place here in Nagasaki must never be repeated. As the only country to have experienced the horror of nuclear devastation in war, Japan will continually make efforts to steadily advance along the path towards bringing about "a world free of nuclear weapons." That is the responsibility of us who live in the present.

In order to truly realize "a world free of nuclear weapons," it is essential for both nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states to participate. Japan, firmly upholding the "Three Non-Nuclear Principles," is determined to take the lead within the international community by urging both kinds of states to participate.

To that end, we must pass down the memory of that tragic experience as a memory held in common by all humankind, reaching beyond generations and national boundaries. Last year, President Obama visited Hiroshima and witnessed the realities of atomic bombings as the first sitting U.S. president to do so, and strongly urged countries holding nuclear weapons to have the courage to pursue a world free of nuclear weapons. People from around the world who visit Nagasaki and Hiroshima, including those from countries holding nuclear weapons, will witness the tragic realities of the atomic bombings and renew their desire for peace. The young generation will hand down the experiences of the atomic bombings that have been passed on from atomic bomb survivors. The government will press forward steadily with those efforts.

We will also make active contributions so that the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) to be held in 2020, the 50th anniversary of the Treaty's entry into force, will be a meaningful one. In doing so we will ground our contributions also in the earnest discussions that took place at the international conference towards a world free of nuclear weapons, held here in Nagasaki last December.

The Government of Japan has enhanced its comprehensive relief measures covering health and medical services and welfare for atomic bomb survivors. We will continue to steadily promote relief measures while keeping in mind the sensitivities of the atomic bomb survivors.

In particular, we are continuing to conduct screenings for recognizing atomic bomb diseases as quickly as we can so that we can convey the results as soon as possible.

Here in Nagasaki, where people continue to pray for eternal peace, I pledge once again that Japan will make its utmost efforts for the realization of "a world free of nuclear weapons" and eternal peace. I wish to conclude with my heartfelt prayers for the repose of the souls of those who fell victim to the atomic bombing here in Hiroshima. I also pray sincerely for the inner peace of the bereaved families and the atomic bomb survivors as well as all the participants today and the people of Nagasaki City.

Shinzo Abe

Prime Minister of Japan

August 9, 2017