"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 the Prime Minister at the Nagasaki Peace Memorial Ceremony

[Place] Nagasaki
[Date] August 9, 2020
[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 75th 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.

This year, as the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) grips the world, people all around the globe continue to make resolute efforts at this very moment to overcome this trial.

Seventy-five years ago today, Nagasaki was reduced to ashes, with not a single tree or blade of grass remaining. Yet through the efforts of its citizens, it achieved reconstruction beautifully as we see today. Mindful of this, we again feel strongly that there is no trial that cannot be overcome and feel acutely how precious peace is.

The devastation that took place in Nagasaki and Hiroshima and the human suffering that resulted must never be repeated. As the only country to have experienced the horror of nuclear devastation in war, Japan has the unceasing mission of advancing steadily, step by step, the efforts of the international community towards realizing "a world free of nuclear weapons."

In the midst of the severe security environment and the disparity in countries' standpoints on nuclear disarmament that we see today, it is imperative that countries eradicate distrust through mutual engagement and dialogue and make efforts over time to forge a common foundation.

In particular, this year is the milestone of the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings. While firmly upholding the "Three Non-Nuclear Principles," Japan will lead the international community's efforts to bring about a world free of nuclear weapons by serving as a mediator bridging the gap between countries with different standpoints and by tenaciously promoting dialogue and actions by various countries.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the entry into force of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). In order for the Treaty to continue to play a role in supporting the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime, it is essential to make the upcoming Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty, one that produces a meaningful outcome. Japan will urge all countries to carry on with their united efforts and, utilizing the outcomes of the discussions of the Group of Eminent Persons for Substantive Advancement of Nuclear Disarmament, continue to make active contributions.

What supports determined steps towards realizing "a world free of nuclear weapons" are efforts to communicate and pass down to future generations and beyond borders the devastation and inhumanity of using nuclear weapons. Japan will work in tandem with atomic bomb survivors in its ongoing efforts to promote understanding of the tragic realities of the atomic bombings.

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 while staying in tune with atomic bomb survivors, who are advancing in years, including by conducting screenings for recognizing atomic bomb diseases as quickly as possible.

In closing, here in Nagasaki, where prayers for eternal peace are offered continuously, 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 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.

ABE Shinzo

Prime Minister of Japan

August 9, 2020