Shinzo Abe – Hiroshima Peace Memorial Address

Shinzo Abe Address at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial delivered 27 May 2016, Hiroshima, Japan Last year, at the 70th anniversary of the end of war, I visited the United States and made a speech as Prime Minister of Japan at a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress. That war deprived many American youngsters of their dreams and futures. Reflecting upon such harsh history, I offered my eternal condolences to all the American souls that were lost during World War II. I expressed gratitude and respect for all the people in both Japan and the United States who have been committed to reconciliation for the past 70 years. Seventy years later, enemies who fought each other so fiercely have become friends, bonded in spirit, and have become allies, bound in trust and friendship, deep between us. The Japan-U.S. alliance, which came into the world this way, has to be an alliance of hope for the world. So I appealed in the speech. One year has passed since then. This time, President Obama, for the first time as leader of the United States, paid a visit to Hiroshima, the city which suffered the atomic bombing. U.S. President witnessing the reality of atomic bombings and renewing his determination for a world free of nuclear weapons — this gives great hope to people all around the world who have never given up their hope for a world without nuclear weapons. I would like to give a whole-hearted welcome to this historic visit, which had been awaited not only by the people of Hiroshima, but also by all the Japanese people. I express my sincere respect to the decision and courage of President Obama. With his decision and courage, we are opening a new chapter to the reconciliation of Japan and the United States, and in our history of trust and friendship. A few minutes ago, together, I and President Obama offered our deepest condolences for all those who lost their lives during World War II and also by the atomic bombings. Seventy-one years ago in Hiroshima and in Nagasaki, a great number of innocent citizens’ lives were cost by a single atomic bomb without mercy. Many children and many citizens perished. Each one of them had his or her life dream and beloved family. When I reflect on this sheer fact, I cannot help but feel painful grief. Even today, there are victims who are still suffering unbearably from the bombings. Feeling of those who went through unimaginable tragic experiences, indeed, in this city 71 years ago — it is unspeakable. In their minds, various feelings must have come and gone — that of those, this must be in common: That any place in the world this tragedy must not be repeated again. It is the responsibility of us who live in the present to firmly inherit these deep feelings. We are determined to realize a world free of nuclear weapons. No matter how long and how difficult the road will be, it is the responsibility of us who live in the present to continue to make efforts. Children who were born on that unforgettable day lit the light believing in permanent peace. To make every effort for the peace and prosperity in the world, vowing for this light — this is the responsibility of us all who live in the present. We will definitely fulfill our responsibility. Together, Japan and the United States will become a light for hope, for the people in the world. Standing in this city, I am firmly determined, together with President Obama. This is the only way to respond to the feelings of the countless spirits — victims of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I am convinced of this. [President Barack Obama: Address at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial]
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