This is the full text of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's
statement on the 60th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II, as reported by Kyodo news agency.
In marking the 60th anniversary of the end of the war, I once again recall that the peace and prosperity we now enjoy was achieved on the noble sacrifices of many who lost their lives against their will in the war, hereby renewing my pledge that our country shall never again follow the path towards war.
In the last major war, more than three million compatriots
laid down their lives on the battlefield and fell victim to the ravages of war with their thoughts for their homeland and concern for their families, or died in distant foreign lands after the war.
Furthermore, our country has caused tremendous damage and pain to the peoples of many countries, especially Asian countries, through colonial rule and invasion.
Humbly acknowledging such facts of history, I once again reflect most deeply and offer apologies from my heart as well as express my condolences to all the victims of the last major war both in and out of the country.
I am determined to contribute to the peace and prosperity of the
world by not allowing the lessons from the tragic war to fade away and by never engaging in war.
After the war, thanks to the incessant efforts of our citizens and support of many countries, our country rose from the ruins and made the first step for returning to the international community by accepting the San Francisco Peace Treaty.
We have upheld the position of resolving any problems through peaceful means without relying on force and have actively contributed to peace and prosperity of the world both materially and in terms of human resources through such means as official development assistance and the United Nations' peacekeeping operations.
The post-war history of our nation is indeed 60 years of peace where we have expressed our reflections on the war through action.
In our country, those generations born after the war have come to account for 70% of the population.
The people of Japan equally long for international peace from their heart, through their own experiences and through education oriented towards peace.
Currently, in various parts of the world, members of the
Japan Overseas Co-operation Volunteers and other Japanese
nationals are playing their roles for peace and humanitarian
assistance, and are generating confidence and high evaluations from local peoples.
Moreover, exchanges are deepening on an unprecedented scale in broad areas including economy and culture with Asian countries.
I believe it necessary to join hands, especially with those Asian
countries just across the water such as China and South Korea, in maintaining peace and aiming at development in the region.
I would like to forge a future-oriented relationship of co-operation based on mutual understanding and confidence with Asian countries by squarely facing up to the past and correctly understanding history.
The international community is currently faced with complex, difficult challenges that previously could not even be imagined, such as the
development and [the need to] overcome poverty in developing
countries, the conservation of the global environment, the
non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and the prevention and eradication of terrorism.
In order to contribute to world peace, our country, while upholding our pledge not to wage war, intends to play active roles as a responsible member of the international community, bearing in mind the experiences as the only country that was the victim of atomic bombings and the path taken in the 60 years after the war.
At this juncture on the 60th year after the war, our peace-loving country once again expresses to make all-out efforts at achieving peace and prosperity for all of humanity along with all other like-minded countries.