"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 Seventy-Fourth National Memorial Ceremony for the War Dead

[Date] August 15, 2019
[Source] Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet
[Notes] Provisional translation
[Full text]

In the gracious presence of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress, and with the attendance of bereaved families of the war dead, distinguished representatives of all sectors of society, and many others, I hereby commence the annual National Memorial Ceremony for the War Dead.

More than three million of our compatriots lost their lives during the war. Some fell on the battlefields worrying about the future of their homeland. Others perished in remote foreign countries after the war. The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the air raids on Tokyo and other cities, and the ground battles in Okinawa, among others, took a heavy toll without mercy. Here, before the souls of all who lost their lives, I offer my heartfelt prayers for their repose.

We will never forget that the peace and prosperity we enjoy at this moment was built atop the precious sacrifices of the war dead. I express my deepest respect and gratitude once more.

Never will we forget the large number of war dead whose remains have still not been recovered. We will take it as our mission to spare no effort to enable their remains to return to their hometowns at the earliest possible time.

Since the end of the war, Japan has consistently and assiduously walked the path of a country that values peace. Taking the lessons of history deeply into our hearts, we have made all possible efforts for world peace and prosperity.

We must never again repeat the devastation of war. This pledge is forever unchanging, throughout the Showa and Heisei eras and the era of Reiwa as well. In order to build a new era that is peaceful and brimming with hope, we will join forces with the international community and make every possible effort to resolve the various challenges facing the world. We shall carve out the future of the nation for the sake of the generation alive now and the generations of tomorrow.

I will conclude my address by once again offering my heartfelt prayers for the repose of the souls of the war dead and for the happiness of the members of their bereaved families.

Shinzo Abe

Prime Minister of Japan

August 15, 2019