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Nagasaki and Hiroshima Peace Declarations 2005

By Nagasaki and Hiroshima Mayors


Nagasaki Peace Declaration 2005

By Itoh Ichho

Today the bells of Nagasaki echo in the sky, marking 60 years since the atomic bombing. At 11:02 a.m. on August 9, 1945, a single atomic bomb was dropped from an American warplane, exploding in this same sky above us, instantly destroying the city of Nagasaki. Some 74,000 people were killed, and another 75,000 wounded. Some of the victims never knew what happened. Others pleaded for water as death overtook them. Children, so burned and blackened that they could not even cry out, lay with their eyes closed. Those people who narrowly survived were afflicted with deep physical and mental wounds that could never be healed. They continue to suffer from the after-effects of the bomb, living in fear of death.



To the leaders of the nuclear weapons states: Nuclear weapons must never be used for any reason whatsoever. This we know from painful experience. For sixty years we have repeated our plea, "No more Hiroshimas! No more Nagasakis!" International society has also been exerting efforts for the prohibition of nuclear weapons tests and the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones. In 2000, the nuclear weapons states themselves promised an "unequivocal undertaking" for the "elimination of their nuclear arsenals."

Nevertheless, at the end of the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons held at United Nations headquarters in May of this year, no progress was achieved. The nuclear weapons states, and the United States of America in particular, have ignored their international commitments, and have made no change in their unyielding stance on nuclear deterrence. We strongly resent the trampling of the hopes of the world's people.

To the citizens of the United States of America: We understand your anger and anxiety over the memories of the horror of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Yet, is your security actually enhanced by your government's policies of maintaining 10,000 nuclear weapons, of carrying out repeated sub-critical nuclear tests, and of pursuing the development of new "mini" nuclear weapons? We are confident that the vast majority of you desire in your hearts the elimination of nuclear arms. May you join hands with the people of the world who share that same desire, and work together for a peaceful planet free from nuclear weapons.

To the government of Japan: Our nation deeply regrets the last war, and our government has supposedly resolved not to engage in actions that might lead to the tragedy of war again. The peaceful ideals of our constitution must be upheld, and the threefold non-nuclear principle of?neither possessing, manufacturing, nor allowing nuclear arms within our borders must be enacted into law without delay. The efforts of concerned countries for nuclear disarmament on the Korean peninsula, combined with the concomitant results of the threefold non-nuclear principle, will pave the way for a Northeast Asia nuclear-weapon-free zone. We urge you to adopt a stance that does not rely upon the "nuclear umbrella," and to take a leading role in nuclear abolition.

We would also point out that the atomic bomb survivors have become quite elderly. We further call upon the Japanese government to provide greater assistance to those who continue to suffer from the mental anguish caused by the bombing, and to extend sufficient aid to survivors who now reside overseas.

Here in Nagasaki, many young people are learning about the atomic bombing and about peace, and are engaged in activities that they themselves have originated. To our young people: Remember always the miserable deaths of the atomic bomb victims. We ask each of you to earnestly study history and to consider the importance of peace and the sanctity of life. The citizens of Nagasaki stand behind your efforts. May you join hands with the world's citizens and NGOs, that the bells of peace will ring loud and clear in the sky over Nagasaki.

Today, as we mark 60 years since the atomic bombing, we pray for the repose of the souls of those who died, even as we declare our commitment, together with Hiroshima, never to abandon our efforts for the elimination of nuclear weapons and the establishment of lasting world peace.

Itoh Iccho, Mayor of Nagasaki

August 9, 2005

Hiroshima Peace Declaration 2005

by Akiba Tadatoshi

This August 6, the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombing, is a moment of shared lamentation in which more than three hundred thousand souls of A-bomb victims and those who remain behind transcend the boundary between life and death to remember that day. It is also a time of inheritance, of awakening, and of commitment, in which we inherit the commitment of the hibakusha to the abolition of nuclear weapons and realization of genuine world peace, awaken to our individual responsibilities, and recommit ourselves to take action. This new commitment, building on the desires of all war victims and the millions around the world who are sharing this moment, is creating a harmony that is enveloping our planet.

The keynote of this harmony is the hibakusha warning, "No one else should ever suffer as we did," along with the cornerstone of all religions and bodies of law, "Thou shalt not kill." Our sacred obligation to future generations is to establish this axiom, especially its corollary, "Thou shalt not kill children," as the highest priority for the human race across all nations and religions. The International Court of Justice advisory opinion issued nine years ago was a vital step toward fulfilling this obligation, and the Japanese Constitution, which embodies this axiom forever as the sovereign will of a nation, should be a guiding light for the world in the 21st century.



Unfortunately, the Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty this past May left no doubt that the U.S., Russia, U.K., France, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea and a few other nations wishing to become nuclear-weapon states are ignoring the majority voices of the people and governments of the world, thereby jeopardizing human survival.

Based on the dogma "Might is right," these countries have formed their own "nuclear club," the admission requirement being possession of nuclear weapons. Through the media, they have long repeated the incantation, "Nuclear weapons protect you." With no means of rebuttal, many people worldwide have succumbed to the feeling that "There is nothing we can do." Within the United Nations, nuclear club members use their veto power to override the global majority and pursue their selfish objectives.

To break out of this situation, Mayors for Peace, with more than 1,080 member cities, is currently holding its sixth General Conference in Hiroshima, where we are revising the Emergency Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons launched two years ago. The primary objective is to produce an action plan that will further expand the circle of cooperation formed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the European Parliament, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and other international NGOs, organizations and individuals worldwide, and will encourage all world citizens to awaken to their own responsibilities with a sense of urgency, "as if the entire world rests on their shoulders alone," and work with new commitment to abolish nuclear weapons.

To these ends and to ensure that the will of the majority is reflected at the UN, we propose that the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, which will meet in October, establish a special committee to deliberate and plan for the achievement and maintenance of a nuclear-weapon-free world. Such a committee is needed because the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva and the NPT Review Conference in New York have failed due to a "consensus rule" that gives a veto to every country.

We expect that the General Assembly will then act on the recommendations from this special committee, adopting by the year 2010 specific steps leading toward the elimination of nuclear weapons by 2020.

Meanwhile, we hereby declare the 369 days from today until August 9, 2006, a "Year of Inheritance, Awakening and Commitment." During this Year, the Mayors for Peace, working with nations, NGOs and the vast majority of the world's people, will launch a great diversity of campaigns for nuclear weapons abolition in numerous cities throughout the world.

We expect the Japanese government to respect the voice of the world's cities and work energetically in the First Committee and the General Assembly to ensure that the abolition of nuclear weapons is achieved by the will of the majority.

Furthermore, we request that the Japanese government provide the warm, humanitarian support appropriate to the needs of all the aging hibakusha, including those living abroad and those exposed in areas affected by the black rain.
On this, the sixtieth anniversary of the atomic bombing, we seek to comfort the souls of all its victims by declaring that we humbly reaffirm our responsibility never to "repeat the evil."

"Please rest peacefully; for we will not repeat the evil."

Akiba Tadatoshi, Mayor, The City of Hiroshima

August 6, 2005

 


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Authors: For all articles by the author, click on author's name.   Mayor of Hiroshima , Mayor of Nagasaki