Respective guests, ladies and gentlemen.
Hearing the three sum-up speeches, I have come to the conclusion that our gathering has turned out quite successful. Congratulations!
Today I will start my report from my personal history, as I have started this trip from attending a meeting held in Tianjin, a special town for me.
I was born in May, 1941, 6 months before the Pearl Harbor Attack occurred. My father was an activist in Japan against the War, and because of this he was arrested and imprisoned for 2 years and 8 months. Of course, there is a long story on him, but today I omit all of them as I have no time.
After finishing his servitude, I was born in due course, but our life must have been quite harsh. He decided not to engage in any business with the living people, as special police didn’t allow him to do so. Thus, he started a funeral ceremony parlor as the director, which got high reputation as his philosophy on funeral ceremony was “Monks give relief to the dead. But to the bereaved family, morticians do so.” But life was not so easy.
Unfortunately, this marvelous idea didn’t promise profits to him. Thus, parlor encountered bankruptcy. Then, a dramatic change came to us.
A Japanese gentleman, whose father’s funeral was held by my father, was so moved by the sincere rituals that he, happened to be working in the Japanese Embassy in Beijin, stretched his hand to save our lives, and we, father mother and I, then only 2-year-old boy came to China. Otherwise we could not have had survived in Japan. We settled at Shijiazhuang and my father worked as a director to construct water supply system for the farmers there.
In those days the war ended, and we, with the new-born younger brother, evacuated from there to Sasebo, Japan, via Tianjin, where I started this trip. We came back to Japan on a landing craft. I still remember the thousands of Japanese people were laying their bodies on the iron-follr of that warship. So, for me this town, Tianjin, is the mother-town of my life.
But for the Chinese people’s merciful help for us, not only for my family but also for many other Japanese people who returned back from the continent and other areas of East Asia, would have hardly lived the post-war lives.
With this sort of sentiment, I asked the driver to show me the New Tianjin Harbor. The Bohai Sea was dark and what we could see was only the lights of harbor facilities. I just said to the guard that I started my return trip from here to Japan 70 years ago, right after the end of the War. Then, he answered, “Oh, Japanese. Invaders!” I answered, “Yes, but only 4 years old. And my father fought against war and freed to China”. Then, quite suddenly his attitude changed amicable and we shook hands.
Japan committed unbelievable atrocities to the people, especially those of East-Asian area in the first half of twentieth century. We, Japanese people and the state of Japan, should never forget this. But, I would be grateful if you understand even in Japan at that time, there were many people who were so unhappy for the plight and fought to get rid of this harsh and tragic history.
Today, attending this commemorating event on the International Day of Peace, and cerebrating the remarkable initiatives of both Chinese Central Government and local authority, I really hope that our meeting will achieve splendid fruits in the history of present international community. For this goal, I am sure mutual understanding is essential no matter how hard it is.
And I am also convinced that the meeting like Today’s one is getting more and more important as the international issues of the contemporary world is getting more and more complicated. Let us do our best. Thank you very much for your attention.