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History of Peace Declarations

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Since 1947, the Mayor of Hiroshima has delivered a Peace Declaration on August 6 every year except 1950 (however the speech in 1951 was called Message from the Mayor.) The memorable features of these speeches are as follows:

1947  First Peace Declaration delivered at the first Peace Festival

1950  Fourth Peace Festival canceled (no Peace Declaration)

1951  Message from the Mayor instead of Peace Declaration

1954  Shortest text to date (320 words in Japanese)

1955  First reference to the plight of survivors

1956  First appearance of the words "Ban on atomic and hydrogen bombs"

1958  First explicit appeal for a ban on atomic and hydrogen bombs

1962  Importance of conveying A-bomb experiences to posterity

1963  Praise for the conclusion of the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

1965  "The banning of atomic and hydrogen bombs" and "The complete renunciation of all war"

        /Regret for the Vietnam War

1968  Clear criticism of the policy of nuclear deterrence

1971  Necessity of education for peace

1972  First reference to the United Nations

        /First reference to problems besides war (environment, natural resources, etc.)

        /First use of the phrase "Heart of Hiroshima"

1973  Strong criticism of the nuclear powers

1974  Prevention of nuclear proliferation

        /First concrete proposal to the United Nations (UN)

1975  Detailed accounting of the reality of the A-bomb damage

1977  Report on the visit of the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to the UN Headquarters

1978  Praise for the UN Special Session on Disarmament

1979  Problems of radiation exposure

        /First reference to problems of hunger and poverty

        /First reference to measures to aid A-bomb survivors

1980  Regret for the problem of refugees from the Middle East and Southeast Asia

        /Hopes for the enactment of the A-bomb Victims' Relief Law

1981  First mention of the "three non-nuclear principles"

1982  Report on the mayor's appeal to the UN Special Session

        /Proposal for city solidarity

        /Proposal to establish an international institute for research on peace in Hiroshima

1983  Report on the Hiroshima and Nagasaki mayors' promotion of the "Program to Promote Solidarity of Cities Towards the Total Abolition of Nuclear Weapons"

1985  Report on holding the World Conference of Mayors for Peace through Inter-city Solidarity

        /Hopes for youth during the International Youth Year

1986  Mention of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident in the Soviet Union

        /Mention of human rights suppression issues

1987  Mention of the 10th anniversary of UN Disarmament week, and expectations for the Third Special Session of the UN General Assembly on Disarmament to be held during the coming year

1988  Report on results of the Third Special Session of the UN General Assembly on Disarmament

1989  Report on the Third World Conference of Mayors for Peace through Inter-city Solidarity

1990  Praise and hopes for nuclear disarmament

        /Making the "three non-nuclear principles" into law

        /Denuclearization of the Asia-Pacific region

        /First mention of support for non-Japanese A-bomb survivors

1991  First use of the expression, "hibakusha"

        /First Peace Declaration of Mayor Takashi Hiraoka since assuming office Apology to the people in the Asia-Pacific region (and every successive year until 1995)

        /Regret for the Persian Gulf War

        /First use of expression "Hibakusha Relief Law"

1992  Clear rejection of the argument of nuclear deterrence

        /Report on the UN Conference on Disarmament Issues in Hiroshima

1993  Warning against the movement for indefinite extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

        /Request to the Japanese government to promptly settle post-war treatment issues

1994  Significance of the A-bomb Dome becoming a World Heritage

        /Opposition to the indefinite extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

1995  Assertion that the atomic bomb is clearly an inhumane weapon that violates international law

        /Call to establish a new nuclear-free zone in the Asian-Pacific region Assertion that war must be reexamined from the perspectives of both perpetrator and victim to enable a common understanding of history

1996  Declaration by the International Court of Justice on the illegality of the use of nuclear weapons

        /Hopes for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

        /Statement that the lives and the deaths following the bombing of Hiroshima must touch hearts and that this culture of peace must become part of humanity's shared legacy

        /The necessity of archiving the extensive documentation on the bombing

1997  Unease concerning the future of the scientific and technological civilization

        /Protest against US subcritical nuclear testing

        /Request that the Japanese government work to construct a security structure that does not rely on a "nuclear umbrella"

1998  Protested the nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan

        /Called for the conclusion of a "treaty for the non-use of nuclear weapons."

        /Mentioned the establishment of the Hiroshima Peace Institute

1999  Looked back on Hiroshima's history, expressing gratitude to the hibakusha for their contributions.

        /Emphasized the paramount importance of world leaders forging the will to abolish nuclear weapons.

2000  Looked back on the 20th century, a century in which scientific technology magnified the danger of war; appealed to the world to break chains of hatred and violence and clear a path to reconciliation.

        /Vowed that Hiroshima will make a new start as a city spreading the spirit of reconciliation through the world and exemplifying reconciliation between humankind and science and technology.

2001  In the first Peace Declaration of the 21st century, appealed for humankind to muster the courage to accept reconciliation and humanity as the way to create a century of peace and humanity.

        /Announced intent to make Hiroshima soar to new heights as a city of humanity and a spiritual home for all people.

2002  Expressed grave concern that the world is locked in cycles of revenge and the logic of power.

        /Announced plans to make Hiroshima a spiritual home for all people; vowed to honor the collective human memory of Hiroshima and to make the 21st century a century of peace and humanity.

        /Urged the U.S. government and its people to renounce the logic of power.

        /Warned the Japanese government against making Japan a "normal country" capable of making war.

2003  Expressed concern over of the global trend toward the rule of power versus the rule of law.

        /Strongly criticized the U.S. for forcing its will on the world.

        /Called on the members of the Mayors for Peace to join in an emergency action to achieve the abolition of nuclear weapons through the NPT Review Conference.

        /Called on influential leaders of the world to pray, speak, and act daily to bring about the abolition of nuclear weapons.

        /Demanded that the Japanese government make three new non-nuclear principles - "allow no production, allow no possession, and allow no use of nuclear weapons" - national precepts.

        /Urged the Japanese government for the first time to provide support to all hibakusha, including those exposed in "black rain areas."

2004  Declared the one-year period ending on August 9, 2005 as a "Year of Remembrance and Action for a Nuclear-Free World".

        /Resolved to abolish nuclear weapons by the year 2020.

        /Expressed expectation that as an expression of their love for humanity American citizens will discharge their duty as the lone superpower to eliminate nuclear weapons.

        /Expressed intent to promote the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Peace Study Course, implement projects to read eyewitness accounts of the atomic bombings, and deliver to the world the message of the atomic bomb survivors.

        /Demanded that the Japanese government defend the Peace Constitution and work diligently to rectify the trend toward open acceptance of war and nuclear weapons.

        /Appealed for support of the Emergency Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons, looking towards the NPT Review Conference.

2005  Expressed a need to establish an axiom of “Thou shalt not kill” especially, “Thou shalt not kill children,” as the highest priority of the human race

        /Designated the period until August 9, 2006 as a year of inheritance, of awakening, and of commitment, and announced the development of various projects for nuclear-weapons abolition

        /Proposed that the First Committee of the UN General Assembly establish a special committee to deliberate and plan for the achievement and maintenance of a nuclear-weapon-free world.

2006  Indicated that obligations for nuclear disarmament are not being upheld despite 10 years having passed since the International Court of Justice handed down an advisory opinion that “...the threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law”

        /Announced the Good Faith Challenge, a campaign to promote the good-faith negotiations for nuclear disarmament, and the Cities Are Not Targets (CANT) project demanding that nuclear-weapon states stop targeting cities for nuclear attack.

2007  Expressed the importance of the message that was born from the suffering of the hibakusha, and insisted that we must never forget their accomplishments in preventing a third use of nuclear weapons by speaking of experiences they would rather forget

        /Indicated that because of a handful of old-fashioned leaders, clinging to an early 20th century worldview in thrall to the rule of brute strength, the human family faced the peril of extinction

        /Recognized the 21st century as a time in which our problems can actually be solved through the power of the people

        /Called attention to examples of human wisdom, which has led to democratic governments and international rules, giving cities across the world the ability to rise up with their citizens to leverage their voices to lift international politics

        /Pledged to take all actions required to bequeath to future generations a nuclear-weapon-free world.

2008  Asserted the truth that the only role for nuclear weapons is to be abolished.

        /Indicated that the majority of world citizens seek nuclear weapons abolition.

        /Expressed expectation that the new president of the United States will listen to the majority, for whom human survival is the top priority.

        /Announced that Mayors for Peace proposed the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol to realize a world without nuclear weapons by 2020.

        /Indicated the importance of a “paradigm shift” toward modeling the world on intercity relationships built on mutual understanding and trust.

        /Expressed the hope that the G8 Speakers’ Meeting in Hiroshima will help spread the hibakusha philosophy around the world.

2009  Pointed out that the hibakusha who are still suffering have been granted legal support through the courageous court decision accepting the fact that the effects of radiation on the human body have yet to be fully elucidated.

        /Suggested that we refer to ourselves as the “Obamajority,” the great global majority that supports the abolition of nuclear weapons.

        /Stated that global democracy that respects the majority will of the world and solves problems through the power of the people has truly begun to grow.

        /Proposed the creation of a “Lower House” of the UN to deliver the voices of the people directly to the UN.

        /Called on the world’s citizens to come together and fully strive to eliminate nuclear weapons.

2010  Asserted that the hibakusha’s message that “no one else should ever suffer as we did” is a beacon to the world.

        /Pointed out that the Final Document passed at the NPT Review Conference this year confirms that our future depends on the steps articulated by Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Mayors for Peace.

        /Stated that through the voice of civil society and the leadership of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and President Obama, this year’s NPT Review Conference was a success.

        /Called upon the Japanese prime minister to commit himself to the hibakusha’s dreams of a nuclear-weapon-free world and demonstrate his leadership.

        /Announced that we will follow the Hiroshima Appeal adopted at the Hiroshima Conference for the Total Abolition for Nuclear Weapons by 2020.

2011  Incorporated two A-bomb survivors' experiences in the declaration.

        /Expressed our determination to learn from all the hibakusha what they experienced and their desire for peace, and communicate what we learn to future generations and the rest of the world.

        /Announced our commitment to expand Mayors for Peace

        /Urged all countries, especially the nuclear-armed states, including the United States of America, which continues its subcritical nuclear testing and related experiments, to pursue enthusiastically a process that will abolish nuclear weapons.

        /Announced that we will strive to host an international conference to discuss the nuclear non-proliferation regime.

        /Urged the Japanese government to quickly review our energy policies and institute concrete countermeasures, referring to the Great East Japan Earthquake and the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.

2012  Included three A-bomb survivors' experiences in the declaration..

        /Introduced the fact that the city has begun training official hibakusha (A-bomb survivors) successors.

        /Called on policymakers from nuclear-armed nations to visit Hiroshima in order to think about peace.

        /Called on the Japanese government to take leadership towards nuclear weapons abolition.

        /Touched upon the fact that the experiences of the sufferers from the Great East Japan Earthquake disaster and nuclear accident overlap with those of the A-bomb survivors, and that our hearts are with them.

        /Urged the Japanese government to quickly establish energy measures to protect the lives and safety of the citizens, and to make the political decision to expand the black rain areas.

2013  Included five A-bomb survivors' experiences in the declaration.

        /Called for everyone to act as a momentum in working for nuclear weapons abolition, in response to the wishes of the A-bomb survivors.

        /Called on the policymakers of the world to visit Hiroshima and apply their resources to a new security system based on trust and dialogue.

        /Called for the efforts of involved countries to work towards the denuclearization of North Korea and to establish the Northeast Asia nuclear-weapon-free zone.

        /Urged the Japanese government to strengthen ties with other countries calling for nuclear abolition, based on the inhumanity of nuclear weapons and to improve its support measures for the A-bomb survivors and for those exposed to the black rain, and expand the black rain areas.

        /Called upon the Japanese government to establish responsible energy initiatives that put top priority on the lives and safety of the people.

2014  Included three A-bomb survivors' experiences in the declaration.

        /Indicated that we should put ourselves in the place of the A-bomb survivors, imagine their experiences, communicate, think and act together with them to build a peaceful world without nuclear weapons.

        /Pledged to strengthen international public demand for the start of negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention and for promoting measures towards the illegalization of nuclear weapons, focused on their inhumanity.

        /Called on the policymakers of the world to visit the A-bombed cities and apply their resources to a new security system based on trust and dialogue.

        /Urged the Japanese government to accept the full weight of the fact that we have avoided war for 69 years thanks to the noble pacifism of the Japanese Constitution, and to continue as a nation of peace in both word and deed.

2015  Presented “generosity” and “love for humanity” as the principles necessary to firm up one’s belief in nuclear weapons abolition, which would then serve as motivation toward this goal; included two A-bomb survivors' experiences relevant to this topic.

        /Called on everyone to contemplate the nuclear problem as their own, because as long as nuclear weapons exist, anyone could become a hibakusha at any time. 

         /Urged policymakers of the world to visit the A-bombed cities and to create broadly versatile security systems that do not depend on military might. 

        /Pledged to strive toward negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention and abolition of nuclear weapons by 2020; called on the Japanese government, in its role as bridge between the nuclear- and non-nuclear-weapon states, to guide all states toward these discussions; offered Hiroshima as the venue for dialogue and outreach. 

2016  Presented “passion” and “unity” as the principles necessary to strengthen one’s belief in nuclear weapons abolition, which would then serve as motivation toward this goal; included two A-bomb survivors' experiences relevant to this topic.

          /Quoted part of US President Obama’s speech, “… among those nations like my own that hold nuclear stockpiles, we must have the courage to escape the logic of fear, and pursue a world without them,” which was given during his visit to Hiroshima. 

          /Once again urged policymakers of the world to visit the A-bombed cities, and expressed support for young people in starting to take action.

          /Expressed expectations for Prime Minister Abe to display leadership with President Obama.

          /Pointed out that a legal framework banning nuclear weapons was indispensable to realize a nuclear-weapon-free world.


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