Peace - the spirit of Hiroshima. Hiroshima has been constantly labouring in pursuit of peace.

Nevertheless, the major nuclear powers of the world, with the United States and the Soviet Union in the forefront, are still engaged in a massive armaments race aimed against potential adversaries; they are absorbed in the development of highly technical nuclear weapons, the peak of destructive power has been reached. This is nothing but an act of folly, a blind belief in the dominance of weaponry.

To urge an awakening of conscience and reason, by making known to the world the real facts of the Atomic Bombing, to realize eternal peace by virtue of the abolition of all nuclear weapons, these are the responsibilities imposed upon Hiroshima.

Last year I, as the Mayor of the A-bombed city accompanied the Mayor of Nagasaki on a visit to the United Nations Headquarters. We took with us an ardent wish which had been smouldering over the years in the hearts of our citizens. There we, as survivors, living witnesses, testified the true facts of our atomic bomb experiences, and we strongly appealed for the total abolition of nuclear weapons and the renunciation of war.

To this appeal of ours, both Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim and President H.S. Amerasinghe of the General Assembly, representing the United Nations, respectively emphasized that the sufferings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are sufferings to be shared by the whole of mankind, and that a new concept of world order should be built from the ashes of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They deeply sympathized with us, expressing their earnest desire to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki. His Excellency Amerasinghe is here with us today. His presence means, we hope, that the voice of Hiroshima will be reflected directly in the United Nations. This is of great significance from an international point of view.

The United Nations is scheduled to hold its Special General Assembly on Disarmament sometime in May next year. Great hopes are thus held for its outcome all over the world.

At this very time, we propose that nations throughout the world bind together in perseverance and wisdom toward a final goal: the abolition of nuclear weapons and the renunciation of war, a positive limitation on the world's armaments and an exertion of effort to build a lasting peace, based not on weapons of war, but on international policies which reflect the precious values of our world.

Now, for the people of the world, from the standpoint of all humanity, we must overcome the differences of race and lines of national boundaries and urge world opinion to hasten our strides towards eternal peace.

Today, on the occasion of the 32nd Anniversary of the Atomic Bombing, I, in the name of all citizens, earnestly vow before the souls of the A-bomb fallen victims that we will continue to call strongly for the total abolition of nuclear weapons and to strive vigorously for the realization of eternal peace.

August 6, 1977

Takeshi Araki
The City of Hiroshima

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