To our good and loyal subjects: After pondering deeply the general trends of the world and the actual conditions obtaining in Our Empire today …
… We have understood that to effect a settlement of the present situation We need to resort to an extraordinary measure.
We should have ordered Our Government long ago to communicate to the people of Japan and to the world that Our Empire should not embark on a scheme of using nuclear energy for base motives such as producing energy and putting our future and our people and other peaceful nations at risk.
To strive for the common prosperity and happiness of all nations, as well as the security and well-being of Our subjects, is the solemn obligation which has been handed down by Our Imperial Ancestors, and which We lay close to heart. Indeed, We built nuclear power stations out of Our sincere desire to ensure Japan’s self-preservation and the stabilization of East Asia, it being far from Our thought either to infringe upon the health of our citizens or of other nations or to embark upon industrial aggrandizement. But now the atomic catastrophe has lasted for over two weeks. Despite the best that has been done by everyone -the gallant fighting of workers trying to contain the damage, the diligence and assiduity of Our servants of the State and the devoted service of Our one-hundred-and-twenty-seven million people- the nuclear situation has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage, while the general trends of the technology have all turned against her interest. Moreover, the enemy within has begun to deploy a new and most cruel weapon, the power of which to do damage is indeed incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives. Should We continue to use atomic power, it would not only result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilization. Such being the case, how are We to save the millions of Our subjects; or to atone Ourselves before the hallowed spirits of Our Imperial Ancestors? This is the reason why We have ordered a complete and immediate shutdown of all nuclear power stations in Our country to take effect immediately.
We cannot but express the deepest sense of regret to our allied nations of East Asia, who have consistently co-operated with the Empire toward the emancipation of East Asia. The thought of those women, men and children as well as others who could have fallen in the pursuit of electric power, those who died at their posts of duty, or those who met with untimely death or will die of radiation induced illnesses in the future or be born with birth defects in the coming dozens of generations and all their bereaved families, pains Our heart night and day. The welfare of the wounded and the sufferers, and of those who have lost their homes and livelihood, are the objects of Our profound solicitude. The hardships and sufferings to which Our nation is to be subject hereafter will certainly be great. We are keenly aware of the inmost feelings of all ye, Our subjects. However, it is according to the dictate of time and fate that We have resolved to pave the way for a grand peace for all the generations to come by enduring the unendurable and suffering what is insufferable.
Having just been able to safeguard and maintain the structure of the Imperial State, We are always with ye, Our good and loyal subjects, relying upon your sincerity and integrity. Beware most strictly of any outbursts of emotion which may engender needless complications, or any fraternal contention and strife which may create confusion, lead ye astray and cause ye to lose the confidence of the world. Let the entire nation continue as one family from generation to generation, ever firm in its faith of the imperishableness of what’s left of its divine land, and mindful of its heavy burden of responsibilities, and the long road before it. Unite your total strength to be devoted to the construction for the future without nuclear threat both “peaceful” or military. Cultivate the ways of rectitude; foster nobility of spirit; and work with resolution so as ye may enhance the innate glory of the Imperial State and again keep pace with the progress of the world.