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Prime Minister Attends Nagasaki Memorial Service for the Dead and Peace Ceremony
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi attended the annual Nagasaki Memorial Service for the Dead and Peace Ceremony held in front of the Peace Statue in Peace Park, Matsuyama-machi, Nagasaki City.
About 6,000 participants including atomic bomb victims, bereaved family members and Prime Minister Koizumi attended the ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombing. The list of the names of the people recognized as atomic bomb victims in the past year was placed in the sacred box in front of the Peace Statue. Prime Minister Koizumi and other guests offered flowers along with the representatives of atomic bomb victims and bereaved family members.
The Bell of Nagasaki was rung at 11:02 a.m., when the atomic bomb was dropped, and the participants prayed in silence for a minute. Mr. Iccho Itoh, the Mayor of Nagasaki City, then delivered the "Nagasaki Peace Declaration" in which he stated, "We the citizens of Nagasaki pledge our commitment to the realization of true peace in the world, free from nuclear weapons." He further requested for the Government of Japan to legislate the Three Non-Nuclear Principles and to enhance the assistance provided to atomic bomb victims living abroad as well as to those who have been traumatized by the atomic bombing. Following this, Ms. Fumie Sakamoto, the representative of the atomic bomb victims read the "Pledge for Peace" in which she declared, "I swear to continue to tirelessly demand that Nagasaki be the last A-bomb site as long as I live."
Prime Minister Koizumi said in his address that, "Japan will continue to comply with its Peace Constitution and firmly maintain the Three Non-Nuclear Principles. Furthermore, Japan will lead the international community to promote international efforts for nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation and devote itself to abolish nuclear weapons."
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