"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 Seventy-Fifth National Memorial Ceremony for the War Dead

[Date] August 15, 2020
[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 and distinguished representatives of all sectors of society, 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, which was extremely fierce and harsh.

Some fell on the battlefields worrying about the future of their homeland and wishing for the happiness of their families. 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.

Again now on the 75th anniversary of the end of the war, we will never forget that the peace and prosperity we enjoy today 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. Taking it as the responsibility of the nation, we shall spare no effort to enable their remains to return to their hometowns at the earliest possible time.

Over the 75 years since the end of the war, Japan has consistently walked the path of a country that values peace. We have worked to the very best of our ability to transform the world into a better place.

We must never again repeat the devastation of war. We will continue to remain committed to this resolute pledge. Under the banner of "Proactive Contribution to Peace," we are determined to join hands with the international community and play a greater role than ever before in resolving the various challenges facing the world. We shall overcome the current novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and carve out the future of our 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.

ABE Shinzo

Prime Minister of Japan

August 15, 2020