"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, 2019
[Source] Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet
[Notes] Provisional translation
[Full text]

Today, at the opening of the Nagasaki Peace Memorial Ceremony on the 74th anniversary of the atomic bombing, 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-four years ago today, in an instant, a single atomic bomb reduced the city to ashes and deprived people said to number 70,000 of their precious lives. It mercilessly deprived people of their dreams and bright futures, and even those who escaped death suffered hardships beyond description.

The tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki caused by nuclear weapons must never be repeated. As the only country to have experienced the horror of nuclear devastation in war, Japan will tirelessly continue its efforts to bring about "a world free of nuclear weapons." This is Japan's unchanging mission in the era of Reiwa also. We must make this new era one that is peaceful and brimming with hope.

In recent years, the security environment has become increasingly severe at a global level, and the gaps between nations' positions on nuclear disarmament are widening.

In working to bring about "a world free of nuclear weapons," Japan will promote understanding of the tragic realities of the atomic bombings while firmly upholding the "Three Non-Nuclear Principles." Japan is determined to build a bridge between nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states, tenaciously promote dialogue by gaining cooperation between the two, and lead the efforts put forth by the international community.

Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the entry into force of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and a Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty, held once every five years, will convene. To ensure this Review Conference produces a meaningful outcome, Japan is determined to reach out proactively to other countries, based on the recommendations and other conclusions of the Group of Eminent Persons for Substantive Advancement of Nuclear Disarmament, which convened here in Nagasaki last November.

As the only country to have ever suffered the devastation of atomic bombings during war, we have a duty to continue to communicate the inhumanity of nuclear weapons to future generations and beyond borders.

We will steadily hand down to younger generations stories of experiences with the atomic bombings that were passed on from atomic bomb survivors. And, those who visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki from around the world can renew their determination to achieve peace, through knowing first-hand the tragic realities of the atomic bombings. Japan will steadily press forward with these kinds of efforts.

The Government, accepting the necessity of relief measures covering health and medical services and welfare of atomic bomb survivors, will continue to advance relief measures in a comprehensive manner that are in tune with the concerns of 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.

In closing, here in Nagasaki, which has developed admirably as an International Culture City through the tireless efforts of its citizens, I pledge that Japan will make its utmost efforts for the realization of "a world free of nuclear weapons" and eternal peace.

I wish to conclude my remarks with my heartfelt prayers for the repose of the souls of those who fell victim to the atomic bombing here in Nagasaki. 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, 2019