The international order established at the end of World War II could certainly have been worse. However, this order did contain certain factors which bore within them the seeds of instability.
If the attainment of peace is the ultimate objective of all statesmen, it is, at the same time, something very ordinary, closely tied to the daily life of each individual.
All through the years since World War II, the Japanese people have, I am convinced, made strenuous efforts to preserve and promote world peace, contributing to the progress and prosperity of mankind.
Japan is the only country in the world to have suffered the ravages of atomic bombing. That experience left an indelible mark on the hearts of our people, making them passionately determined to renounce all wars.
Subsequently, the Japanese people experienced a variety of vicissitudes and were involved in international disputes, eventually, for the first time in their history, experiencing the horrors of modern warfare on their own soil during World War II.
It was also during my tenure of office that the Japanese Government agreed to the conclusion of a Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and signed it, pursuing a policy in harmony with the avowed desire of the people.
It is only natural that for any statesman at the helm of any government the question of his country's security should be a concern of the utmost importance.