Sixty-seven years have now passed since the end of World War II. The year's summertime memorials for the repose of the souls of the dead have come round once more.
The 6th in Hiroshima; the 9th in Nagasaki; and today, the anniversary of the end of the Second World War. I attended each of these memorial ceremonies and, full of thoughts of sorrow at the great numbers of war dead, I renewed my pledge to work for peace.
Japan's peace and prosperity have been built on the noble sacrifices that came about through the war. Each time I read a memorial service address before the souls of the victims, I could not help but be intensely reminded of this fact.
The lives that fell scattered on battlefields. The lives lost to the ravages of war. The lives that fell under foreign skies after the war ended. The ardent hopes of all these, that we "build a homeland of peace and abundance," have been entrusted to those of us alive today.
Japan rose dynamically from burned-out ruins after the war to build a peaceful nation. The task for us is to demonstrate this indomitable spirit once again now as we open up the future of our homeland, overcoming the woes from the Great East Japan Earthquake and the numerous challenges that will span many years.
Last Friday, the bills related to the comprehensive reform of social security and taxation systems were passed. I shared my thoughts on all aspects of this at the press conference. What we must do is not exploit the future but rather take the first step towards creating a responsible nation that gives adequate thought to future generations.
While we must engage in resolute responses to the changes in the international setting that surrounds Japan, I also intend to continue to take on the challenges facing us through my utmost efforts, keeping firmly in mind the ardent hopes for nation building entrusted to us by the war dead.