"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] Remarks by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Behalf of the People of Japan, on the Occasion of the Ceremony of the Abdication of His Majesty the Emperor at the Seiden (State Hall)

[Date] April 30, 2019
[Source] Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet
[Notes] Provisional Translation
[Full text]

I make these remarks with the greatest respect.

Your Majesty the Emperor will abdicate the Imperial throne today in accordance with the provisions of the Special Measures Law on the Imperial House Law Concerning the Abdication of the Emperor and Other Matters.

Across the thirty years of the Heisei era, under the idea that peace will be achieved both within and outside the nation, we have walked a path together with Your Majesty. During this time, Your Majesty, wishing for the peace and stability of the nation and for the happiness of the people, has engaged in each of Your Majesty’s official duties wholeheartedly and fulfilled Your Majesty’s responsibility as a symbol of the State and of the unity of the people.

Japan, while enjoying peace and prosperity, also faced a number of hardships, including a series of major natural disasters. At such times, Your Majesty, together with Her Majesty the Empress, walked alongside the people of Japan, encouraging disaster victims in a close and friendly manner and giving the Japanese people courage and hope towards tomorrow.

Today, the day of Your Majesty’s abdication, as we look back on the time that has passed and turn our thoughts to the heart of Your Majesty, who has always experienced joys and sorrows together with the people of Japan, our feelings of profound respect and appreciation are brought home once again.

We will take deeply to heart the path walked by Your Majesty over the years. As we do so, we will also engage in our very best efforts to create a bright future for a Japan that is peaceful and brimming with hope, a Japan in which we take pride.

I wish in the strongest terms for Your Majesties to remain in good health for many years to come.

I express my sincere gratitude to Your Majesties and my best wishes for the Imperial Household to flourish further.