The following is the text of the address by Emperor Naruhito at the National Memorial Ceremony for the War Dead in Tokyo on Aug. 15, 2020, released by the Imperial Household Agency.
August 15, 2020
On this Day to Commemorate the War Dead and Pray for Peace, my thoughts are with the numerous people who lost their precious lives in the last war and their bereaved families, as I attend this Memorial Ceremony for the War Dead with a deep and renewed sense of sorrow.
Seventy-five years have already passed since the end of the war. Our country today enjoys peace and prosperity, thanks to the ceaseless efforts made by the people of Japan. When I look back on the arduous steps taken by the people, I cannot help but be overcome with deep emotion.
While we are currently confronted with the unprecedented difficulties caused by the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019, I sincerely hope that we all work together hand in hand to overcome this difficult situation and continue to seek happiness of the people and world peace.
Looking back on the long period of post-war peace, reflecting on our past and bearing in mind the feelings of deep remorse, I earnestly hope that the ravages of war will never again be repeated. Together with all our people, I now pay my heartfelt tribute to all those who lost their lives in the war, both on the battlefields and elsewhere, and pray for world peace and for the continuing developments of our country.