Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers a speech during a ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of the bombing at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, western Japan. Picture: Eugene Hoshiko/AP
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers a speech during a ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of the bombing at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, western Japan. Picture: Eugene Hoshiko/AP

Abe honours victims on 75th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings

Time of article published Aug 6, 2020

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“The devastation that took place in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the human suffering that resulted must never be repeated,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at the ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of the bombing. Read his full speech here:

Today, at the opening of the Hiroshima 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.

Despite having been turned to ruins 75 years ago through the dropping of a single atomic bomb, this beautiful city admirably achieved reconstruction through the efforts of our forebears. Standing before it, I renew my determination to overcome the trial we now face and once more turn my thoughts to how precious peace is.

The devastation that took place in Hiroshima and Nagasaki 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.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe bows in front of Hiroshima Memorial Cenotaph at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park during a ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of the bombing. Picture: Eugene Hoshiko/AP

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.

Kazumi Matsui, right, mayor of Hiroshima, and the family of the deceased bow before they place the victims list of the atomic bomb at the Hiroshima Memorial Cenotaph. Picture: Eugene Hoshiko/AP

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.

People pray in front of the cenotaph for the atomic bombing victims before the start of ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of the bombing in Hiroshima. Picture: Eugene Hoshiko/AP

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.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe offers flowers to Hiroshima Memorial Cenotaph during a ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of the bombing at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Picture: Eugene Hoshiko/AP

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 Hiroshima, 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 Hiroshima. 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 Hiroshima City.

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