Address by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda at the Sixty-Seventh Memorial Ceremony for the War Dead
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
In the gracious presence of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress and with the attendance of bereaved family members of the war dead and many distinguished representatives of all sectors of society, I would like to commence here the annual Memorial Ceremony for the War Dead.
During the war, more than three million people, thinking of their homeland and concerned about their families, fell on the battlefields, suffered the ravages of war, or lost their lives during the aftermath of the war in remote foreign countries. I sincerely pray once more that they rest in peace.
I also express my deep respect for the bereaved family members who have endured the sorrow brought on by the loss of their beloved blood relatives and overcome many hardships.
During the last war, Japan caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations. I hereby express my feelings of profound remorse and sincere mourning for the victims of the war and their bereaved family members.
The peace and prosperity of present-day Japan has been built upon the noble sacrifices of those who lost their lives for the war against their will.
We must hand down the past lessons of that horrible war to the next generation without allowing the lessons to erode.
Here today, sixty-seven years after the end of the war, Japan vows to uphold its pledge not to engage in war, and as a member of the international community, renews its pledge to pursue unceasingly the realization of international peace to ensure that the tragedy of war is never repeated.
For the sake also of the war dead who continued to hope for the stability and development of Japan, we must fulfill our mission to achieve the Rebirth of Japan through the reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake.
I would like to offer my heartfelt prayers for the repose of the souls of the war dead and for continued peace and good health for their bereaved families.
15 August 2012
Prime Minister of Japan