Japan's Emperor Hirohito said on Sunday (15 August), on the 31st anniversary of the end of World War Two, that he still grieved for those who died in the war and their bereaved families.
GV EXTERIOR Budokan Hall
GV INTERIOR Emperor Hirohito enters and walks onto rostrum as band plays
GV Audience in hall PAN TO Hirohito on rostrum
LV Hirohito and wife saying prayers with flowers in background
GV Crowd praying (3 shots)
GV Hirohito and wife bow to crowd and turn to walk away
GV Crowd with women wiping tears from eyes
SV Hirohito leaves stage as audience watch
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Background: Japan's Emperor Hirohito said on Sunday (15 August), on the 31st anniversary of the end of World War Two, that he still grieved for those who died in the war and their bereaved families.
SYNOPSIS: The annual memorial service took place at the octagonal Budokan Hall near Tokyo's Imperial Palace. It is a government sponsored service for the 3,100.000 Japanese-military and civilians who lost their lives during the war. Before the 75-year-old Emperor and 73-year-old Empress Nagako walked to the altar, Prime Minister Takeo Miki had told the mourners that Japan had come to enjoy an unprecedented prosperity in the world but was faced with the stern reality than many problems require settlements. "We must exert untiring efforts for the establishment of lasting world peace and the development of Japan , "Mr. Miki had told the 6,000 dignitaries and representatives of the bereaved families.
It was on the 15th of August 31 years ago that the Emperor declared Japan's surrender through the nation wide radio networks. The Emperor renounced his divinity from and a half months after the end of the war and is now "The Symbol of the State" under the post war Japanese constitution.
Memorial services have also been held at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the world's only two cities to have suffered from nuclear attack. United States B 29 bombers dropped the atom bombs. Today Japan and the United States are close allies, and a newspaper survey has revealed that many young Japanese are unaware that the United States was Japan's wartime enemy.