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Ambassador Mari Miyoshi's Speech at the Commemoration for the Victims of the Atomic Bombs (Merrion Square Park, 6 August 2016)

Good afternoon,
Councillor, Mary Freehill, the representative of the Lord Mayor of Dublin,
Canon, Patrick Comerford, the President, Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament,
Dr. David Hutchinson Edgar, Chairperson, Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament,
and all of the people gathered here for today’s commemoration of the victims of the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
First of all, on behalf of the Government of Japan, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (Irish CND) for inviting me to this event today, and my appreciation for your efforts in organizing this annual event since 1980.
71 years ago, in Hiroshima city, a single bomb took more than one hundred and forty (140) thousand  lives. Three days later, a second atomic bomb was also dropped on Nagasaki city and eighty thousand lives were lost as well.
In both cities, innocent people’s lives were lost instantly and indiscriminately, and people who survived the direct effects of the atomic bombs have also suffered the after effects caused by radiation and injuries for many years.
Even now, 71 years later, a lot of people are still struggling with illnesses and some are dying because of those effects.
Keeping this tragedy in mind, and as the only country to have ever suffered atomic bombings, Japan is making efforts to achieve progress towards a world free of nuclear weapons.
Let me introduce some examples of our efforts briefly,
Japan is taking the initiative to promote nuclear disarmament through discussions in United Nations. As a part of our efforts, Japan submits the resolution on nuclear disarmament to the UN General Assembly every year since 1994.
Also, Japan attaches great importance to strengthening Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) regime advocated by Ireland. Even though there are many difficulties in on-going negotiations, Japan is trying to achieve joint actions by nuclear-weapon and non-nuclear weapon states.
Japan is taking leadership in the Non-proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI), which is a ministerial-level group of countries aiming to achieve advancement of nuclear disarmament and greater transparency in the way nuclear weapons states fulfil their disarmament commitments.
In order to enhance bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the international arena, it is important to deepen our understanding of the reality of atomic bombings.
From this perspective, Japan launched ‘Youth Communicators for a World without Nuclear Weapons’ program. In this program, selected people are conveying the tragedy that occurred in Hiroshima and Nagasaki beyond generations and across borders. There are about 140 young people who were nominated as youth communicators so far, and they are working to deepen people’s understanding of the damage and the reality of nuclear bombs.
This year, in April, as you might know, Japan hosted the G7 summit, and prior to the G7 summit, the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was held in Hiroshima. The Hiroshima Declaration, encouraging all states to implement the necessary measures for nuclear disarmament, was adopted. Above all, during their staying in Hiroshima, the G7 Foreign Ministers witnessed the reality of the atomic bomb through visiting the Atomic Bomb Dome.
After the G7 Summit, U.S. President Obama also made an historic visit to Hiroshima as the first sitting U.S. president to do so.
It is important to deepen our understanding of the reality of atomic bombings and, in this regard, we hope that more political leaders will make a journey to Hiroshima and Nagasaki and witness the reality of atomic bombings.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to all of you here.
For the purpose of achieving our common goal, total elimination of nuclear weapons, it is essential to consider what steps can be taken from every possible aspect and how nuclear disarmament can be implemented.
I firmly believe that with the effort of the international community and the good will of people like you, who have gathered here today, we will one day finally achieve our aim of eliminating all nuclear weapons in the world.
I believe this event today will provide us with a valuable opportunity to work towards our goal. Thank you very much for your attention.