Japan Prays for Peace on 77th War Anniversary
Tokyo, Aug. 15 (Jiji Press)--Japanese leaders and others prayed for peace and pledged not to wage war at a ceremony held on Monday, the 77th anniversary of the country's surrender in World War II, with Emperor Naruhito using the phrase "deep remorse" again.
At the government-sponsored event at the Nippon Budokan hall in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward, 992 participants, including Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Emperor Naruhito, Empress Masako and bereaved relatives, mourned some 3.1 million people who lost their lives in the war.
The memorial ceremony was scaled down for the third straight year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry limiting the number of bereaved relatives attending the event to 20 for each of the country's 47 prefectures. Before the pandemic, the annual ceremony was usually attended by some 6,000 people.
No bereaved relatives took part from the western prefectures of Kyoto, Yamaguchi and Ehime, or the southernmost prefecture of Okinawa.
Monday's ceremony began shortly past 11:50 a.m. (2:50 a.m. GMT), with all the participants observing a minute of silence for the war victims from noon.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]