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Ambassador's speech at a party following Service attended by the International Friendship Reconciliation Trust at Canterbury Cathedral
I have prepared a speech and should like to read it out, but before doing that, I'd like to say a few words.

I am extremely pleased to be here with my wife to share with you the genuine feelings of friendship and reconciliation. Evensong and the act of reconciliation which took place right now was sincere, solemn and heart-warming occasion, reflecting the feeling of people who attended. I was deeply moved. There is another moving story which I want to touch; the true story of Mr. William Rose, who is here. I met him just s few minutes ago. I heard his name for the first time only two days ago, and his story was reported in a news paper here. You may have read it. His story is about terrible experience in Japan during the war time, his courageous efforts for reconciliation with the Japanese people and efforts made by villagers of Tenryumura of Nagano prefecture in Japan and strong persistent efforts by a Japanese lady, Takako, who is now his daughter-in-law, wife of his second son Graham, to make a bridge between Mr. Rose and the villagers of Tenryumura. It is really moving. I should like to pay my highest respects and tribute to these efforts. Now I should like to read out my speech.

It is my great honour to have attended the service here with you in the home of the Church of England. All of you here today, including some who once fought against each other, care passionately about peace and harmony, and I sincerely share this sentiment with you.

The dreadful events of the Second World War give solemn lessons to all humankind. Since the end of that war 58 years ago, Japan, reflecting deeply on the past, has done its utmost to contribute to world peace. With the support and understanding of other countries like the UK, Japan has come to occupy a respected place in international society.

During the postwar period, relations between Japan and the UK have prospered greatly, and we have come to enjoy a friendship which few could have imagined possible 58 years ago. While this achievement is just cause for celebration, we recall, in a spirit of humility, the tremendous suffering the war brought on many people. Here, I should like to repeat the Japanese feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology about what happened. We must take to heart the tragic lessons of the past while focusing earnestly on the future. Remembrance is vital if we are to continue to pursue genuine reconciliation. Many of you here today have played a vital role in developing friendship between our two countries and peoples, based on this spirit of solemn remembrance. I sincerely pay tribute to your endeavours.

I truly believe that this service today will reinforce our commitment to the cause of reconciliation, thereby aiding our efforts to bring about a more peaceful world. And I will do, on my part as an ambassador and as an individual human being, maximum efforts to contribute to this cause.



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