Japan's PM sparks anger after giving near-identical speeches

Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe sparks anger after delivering near-identical speeches at different events in Hiroshima and Nagasaki to mark the anniversaries of WW2 bombings

  • Sinzo Abe is accused of using the same speech at Hiroshima and Nagasaki 
  • Events were held to commemorate the atomic bombings in Second World War 
  • Critics say the Prime Minister used similar speeches in 2018 and 2019 as well 

Japan’s atomic bomb survivors, known as hibakusha, have hit out their Prime Minister for allegedly delivering near-identical speeches at events commemorating the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Shinzo Abe has been accused of making light of survivors’ concerns after a plagarism app identified that the speeches delivered three days apart were 93 per cent identical. 

In total there were 17 sentences with 12 being an exact match to each other. 

According to the Guardian, the opening paragraph mentions each city’s name, and continues: ‘I reverently express my sincere condolences to the souls of the great number of atomic bomb victims.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe walks out of the venue after attending an official event at the Peace Park in Nagasaki where he is accused of using the same speech given in Hiroshima

‘I also extend my heartfelt sympathy to those still suffering even now from the after-effects of the atomic bomb.’

The only difference between the two passages is the name of each respective ceremony. 

The closing statements in each speech were exactly the same, with Abe stating: ‘I pledge that Japan will make its utmost efforts for the realization of a world free of nuclear weapons and eternal peace.’ 

The two ceremonies were held on the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and Nagasaki three days later which killed 140,000 people and 74,000 people respectively.

The similarity between the two speeches has angered many survivors, according to the Mainichi Shimbun, which adds that Abe’s addresses at the two annual events were also almost identical in 2018 and 2019.

Koichi Kawano, the 80-year-old head of the Nagasaki Prefecture peace movement center’s hibakusha liaison council, said: ‘It’s the same every year.

Abe makes a speech during the 75th anniversary of Hiroshima atomic bombing on August 6th

‘He talks gibberish and leaves, as if to say, ‘There you go. Goodbye.’ He just swapped the word ‘Hiroshima’ to ‘Nagasaki.’ He’s looking down on A-bomb survivors.’

Haruko Moritaki, the 81-year-old co-director of the Hiroshima Alliance for Nuclear Weapons Abolition, added: ‘Prime Minister Abe says he will stay ‘in tune with atomic bomb survivors, who are advancing in years,’ but has not taken concrete action.

‘He’s all talk and no action, and that’s showing in his addresses.’

The full Japanese text of Abe’s statements and their English translations can be seen on the official website of the prime minister’s office. 

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