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Speech made by Ambassador Nogami on the occasion of a Service attended by the International Friendship Reconciliation Trust at Canterbury Cathedral

21 August 2005

Dean Willis, Deputy Lieutenant, My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen

It is my great honour to be here with you at Canterbury Cathedral, on this occasion of the 60 th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. All of you here today, including those who once fought against each other, care about peace and harmony, and I would like to take this opportunity to renew my own commitment to peace, reconciliation and friendship between our people.

Sixty years ago, the war ended and peace was brought back to the world. No words can truly express the misery of war. No words can bring back family and friends who gave their lives. No words can erase the painful memories of past sufferings.

As Prime Minister Koizumi said in his statement on 15 th August, for six decades, Japan's post war history has involved showing its remorse about the war through actions. Japan, through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries. Honestly facing these facts, we once again express our feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology, and mourn for all victims of the war, both at home and abroad. Japan is determined not to allow the lessons of the war to erode, and is determined to contribute to the peace and prosperity of the world without ever again waging war.

Sixty years ago, few could have imagined then that Japan and the UK would, as strategic partners, once again rebuild mutual trust, strengthen friendship and work together for world peace and stability as they do today. I do hope that our efforts through 10 years of the Peace and Friendship Programme have brought about positive results towards reconciliation and friendship between the British and Japanese people.

The dreadful events of the Second World War gave solemn lessons to us all. We should not forget the past, and we must pass on the lessons learnt from the war to the future generation. Japan, reflecting deeply on the past, has been doing its utmost to contribute to world peace and prosperity for 60 years. We are determined to continue to play such a role for many years to come.

Last and not least, I would like to thank all of you here today for your efforts in furthering the cause of reconciliation, and your commitment to an enduring peace and friendship between our people. We could never have reached this far without your efforts.

Thank You.




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