Junichiro Koizumi: 'I am determined not to forget the lessons of that war'

From a statement by the Japanese prime minister on the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in the Pacific
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In the past, Japan, through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous suffering to the people of Asia. Sincerely facing these facts, I once again express my feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology. I am determined not to forget the lessons of that war, and to contribute to the peace and prosperity of the world without waging another war.

After the war, Japan rebuilt itself with the ceaseless efforts of its people and the assistance extended by many countries. Since then, Japan has resolutely maintained its principle of resolving all matters by peaceful means, based on its experience as the only nation to have suffered from atomic bombings.

Today, many Japanese are actively engaged in activities for peace and humanitarian assistance around the world, through organisations such as the Japan Overseas Co-operation Volunteers. Economic and cultural exchange with Asian countries has also increased on an unprecedented scale. We must work hand in hand with other Asian countries, especially with China and the Republic of Korea, to maintain peace and pursue development. Through squarely facing the past, I intend to build a future-oriented relationship with Asian countries, based on mutual understanding and trust.

The international community is now faced with more challenges than ever before: alleviation of poverty, conservation of the global environment, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and the prevention and eradication of terrorism. On this occasion marking the 60th anniversary of the war's end, Japan pledges to work together with all nations of shared aspiration to achieve global peace and prosperity.

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