• Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

Japan Subculture Research Center

A guide to the Japanese underworld, Japanese pop-culture, yakuza and everything dark under the sun.

If you felt a sense of déjà vu when listening to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe give a speech at the ceremony commemorating the 69th anniversary of the Hiroshima nuclear bombing on August 6th, you’re not alone. Parts of Abe’s speech are nearly identical to the one he gave last year, the most notable different being that he changed “68 years ago” to “69 years ago.” I decided to take a page out of Abe’s book and copy and paste his speeches. Paragraphs that are similar to each other have been made bold below. Both speeches were taken from the Prime Minister’s cabinet website. Although the middle of both speeches differ from each other, the second to last paragraph of this year’s speech, in which Abe gives his condolences to those who suffer from nuclear radiation-related diseases and calls for the abolition of nuclear weapons, in particular is only a rewording of at the same idea conveyed in last year’s speech.

Editor note: There is indeed, as Ecclesiastes once noted,  nothing new under the (land of the rising) sun

Prime Minister Abe has a habit of repeating himself, which isn't great when people are actually paying attention. So much for that "heartfelt" speech.
Prime Minister Abe has a habit of repeating himself, which isn’t great when people are actually paying attention. So much for that “heartfelt” speech.













平成二十五年八月六日 内閣総理大臣・安倍晋三






For those who cannot read Japanese, you can take a look at the English translations of the speeches, which are also similar to each other. The italics are parts of his speech that are almost the same as the year before.

Address by Prime Minister Abe at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony

Wednesday August 6, 2014

Here today, on the occasion of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony, I reverently express my sincere condolences to the souls of the atomic bomb victims.  I also extend my heartfelt sympathy to those still suffering from the aftereffects of the atomic bomb.

On this very morning 69 years ago, a single bomb deprived well more than 100,000 people of their precious lives.  It destroyed some 70,000 buildings and swept away the entire area through its hellish fires and its blast, turning the area to ruins.  Those who survived were forced to endure unspeakable hardships of illness and disability and tribulations in their daily lives.

The enormous price that was paid should be regarded as an immense sacrifice.  However, our forebears who built post-World War II Japan had etched deeply upon their hearts that they must never forget the people who perished in Hiroshima.  It was in this spirit that they created, and then bequeathed to us, a homeland of peace and prosperity.  We cannot help but find the most beautiful form of achievement in the streets of Hiroshima, full of greenery, where the continuous chirping of cicadas breaks the silence even now.

As the only country in human history to have experienced the horror of nuclear devastation in war, Japan bears a responsibility to bring about “a world free of nuclear weapons” without fail.  We have a duty to continue to convey to the next generation, and indeed to the world, the inhumanity of nuclear weapons.

Last year at the High-Level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on Nuclear Disarmament, I declared my determination to achieve “a world free of nuclear weapons.” The draft resolution on nuclear disarmament submitted by the Government of Japan had more than 100 co-sponsor states for the first time and was adopted by an overwhelming majority.  Working towards the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, Japan is also advancing realistic and practical nuclear disarmament by directly urging the heads of state and government of relevant nations to ratify the Treaty and through other such efforts.

In April this year, the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative Ministerial Meeting among foreign ministers was held here in Hiroshima.  From this site of an atomic bombing, our thoughts were sent out powerfully to the world.  Next year will be the milestone year of the 70th year since the bombing, and the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which is held once every five years, will also be convened.  We will advance our efforts to realize “a world free of nuclear weapons” still further.

There are individuals who are still now enduring pain and suffering caused by the atomic bombing and waiting to be recognized as having an atomic bomb disease.  At the end of last year, the Government conducted a review of the criteria for granting recognition, bearing in mind the discussions held by relevant persons over three years.  The Government will continue to make good-faith efforts to enable a large number of people to receive such recognition as soon as possible.

This morning, as we mourn the souls of the victims in Hiroshima, I pledge that I will redouble my efforts to carry out these duties.  I would like to conclude with my heartfelt prayers once more for the repose of the souls of the victims.  I would also like to extend my best wishes to the bereaved families and to the atomic bomb survivors.  I will close my address with a pledge that Japan will firmly uphold the “Three Non-Nuclear Principles” and spare no efforts in working towards the total abolition of nuclear weapons and the realization of eternal world peace, so that the horror and devastation caused by nuclear weapons are not repeated.

Shinzo Abe
Prime Minister of Japan
August 6, 2014

This isn’t the first time Abe has recycled speeches. Users online have remarked that Abe also used the same phrases at a memorial service for dead soldiers in Okinawa two years in a row.

With a long succession of prime ministers who rarely last more than a year, perhaps Abe didn’t expect to be in office for so long and didn’t think of setting the time aside to prepare something more original. More likely, he was being lazy.


Editor note 1: Maybe he just hates 1) remembering Japan lost the war 2) Japan might have won the war if they’d built their atomic bomb earlier 3) He thinks this whole Hiroshima thing is a pain in the ass because it really reminds people of how dangerous and destructive nuclear power is and that the Fukushima meltdown mess is an ongoing disaster. This isn’t helping him and his pals at TEPCO or his LDP cronies with a lot of TEPCO and KEPCO stock.

Editor note 2: I’m not entirely unsympathetic to the man. After writing about the yakuza for 20 years, I run out of ways to discuss them without some repetition–but then again, I’m not expressing my ‘heartfelt’ sympathy to them or their victims either.

One thought on “Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plagiarizes himself: If you can recycle nuclear fuel, why not speeches?”

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