Last year marked the sixtieth anniversary of the end of the War. Three million and one hundred thousand Japanese people died in the last war and many foreigners were also victims. We will never forget the people who lost their lives in the War and bear in mind that the Japan of today is built on the sacrifice made by those many people.
The heavy snowfall that started towards the end of the year is causing growing damage in various regions, and it is truly regrettable that more than twenty people lost their lives. I am deeply concerned for the welfare of the people who are still living hard lives away from home in places that suffered damages due to natural disasters. I also hope that the people who were able to return to their homes in Miyakejima and those who have not been able to return to the island alike will stay in good health.
I pray that the new year will bring happiness for each and every one of you, and I sincerely hope that everyone will help one another and strive their utmost to build an even better society.