The following is the text of the address by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a memorial ceremony in Tokyo for the war dead on Aug. 15, 2018, taken from the website of the prime minister.
In the gracious presence of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress, and with the attendance of bereaved families of the war dead, distinguished representatives of all sectors of society, and many others, I hereby commence the annual National Memorial Ceremony for the War Dead.
Here, before the souls of those who, in a war which was extremely fierce and harsh, fell on the battlefields thinking of their homeland and concerned about their families, as well as the souls of those who perished amidst the ravages of war and those who lost their lives in remote foreign countries in the war's aftermath, I offer my heartfelt prayers for the repose of those souls.
We will not forget even for a moment that the peace and prosperity we enjoy today was built atop the precious sacrifices of the war dead. I once again express my deepest respect and gratitude.
The large number of war dead whose remains have still not been recovered also never leaves our minds. We will spare no effort to enable their remains to return to their hometowns at the earliest possible time.
Since the end of the war, Japan has consistently and assiduously walked the path of a country that values peace. We have devoted ourselves to transforming the world into a better place.
We will never again repeat the devastation of war. Humbly facing history, we will remain committed to this resolute pledge, no matter what the era may bring. Earnestly working to tackle various issues that can become hotbeds of conflicts, we will tirelessly make efforts to bring about a world in which all people can live in a way that is rich in spirit. We will carve out the future of the nation for the generation alive now and the generations of tomorrow.
I will conclude my address by once again offering my heartfelt prayers for the repose of the souls of the war dead and for the happiness of the members of their bereaved families.