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Following is the full text of Emperor Akihito’s speech delivered at the annual memorial Saturday to mark the end of the war:

On this day to commemorate the war dead and pray for peace, my thoughts are with the people who lost their precious lives in the last war and their bereaved families, as I attend this memorial ceremony with a deep and renewed sense of sorrow.

Seventy years have passed since the end of the war, and our country today enjoys peace and prosperity, thanks to the ceaseless efforts made by the people of Japan toward recovery from the devastation of the war and toward development, always backed by their earnest desire for the continuation of peace. When I look back on the arduous and sincere steps taken by the people in the course of this long postwar period, I cannot help but be overcome with deep emotion.

Reflecting on our past and bearing in mind the feelings of deep remorse over the last war, I earnestly hope that the ravages of war will never be repeated.

Together with all of 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 development of our country.

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