"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] Message from the Prime Minister on the Occasion of National Foundation Day

[Date] February 11, 2024
[Source] Cabinet Public Affairs Office, Cabinet Secretariat
[Notes] Provisional translation
[Full text]

National Foundation Day is a public holiday for the purpose of "recalling the founding of the nation and cultivating a mindset of love of the nation." It is a national holiday on which each Japanese person recalls how the nation was founded, thinks about the efforts made by our forebears to date, and renews his or her hopes for the further development of the nation.

Japan has shaped its history and fostered a unique culture and distinctive traditions while harmonizing with the abundant natural beauty that can be enjoyed every season. Japan now enjoys a high reputation in the international community in many areas, including science, technology and innovation, and culture and art.

Throughout its long history, Japan has countless times faced great difficulties and trials. We have grasped the tides of major changes in the times both domestically and internationally, including the Meiji Restoration, our postwar reconstruction, and our high economic growth in the postwar era, transformed them into the power of each individual citizen, and brought about numerous transformations of society. We have also cultivated a national character that protects freedom and democracy, respects human rights, and upholds the rule of law. We should not forget the fact that the advances Japan enjoys today lie atop the foundation of each individual's unceasing efforts and the strength of kizuna (bonds) that people have shared with one another. In the case of this January's Noto Peninsula Earthquake as well, we will be certain to overcome all difficulties by rallying the nation's strengths.

Reflecting on the significance of the footprints left by our ancestors, we will defend the lives and livelihoods of the people, secure the blessing of the nature and seek to achieve a society where everyone can feel fulfilled in life. Together with the people who live in the present, we will face the challenges facing us and presenting themselves and, as we work to realize a Japan where tomorrow is better than today, pass on to future generations of Japanese a nation that we can be proud of to the world. As we commemorate National Foundation Day, I renew my determination in this regard.

I sincerely hope that for you, my fellow citizens, National Foundation Day will be an opportunity to appreciate the efforts made by people who went before us as you look back on the path Japan has taken, as well as an opportunity to aspire to pursue further prosperity for Japan.


Prime Minister of Japan

February 11, 2023