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Peace Declaration (1989)

"Let all the souls here rest in peace; for we shall not repeat the evil." Having experienced the nuclear hellfire, Hiroshima has continued to warn incessantly that, as stated in this epitaph, nuclear weapons are incompatible with human existence.

The voice of Hiroshima having aroused world opinion, we see the first fetal stirrings toward a vast human movement in the direction of abolishing nuclear weapons and achieving lasting peace.

Building upon the Intermediate Nuclear Forces treaty, the United States and the Soviet Union are now negotiating for reductions in their strategic nuclear forces. Disarmament proposals have also been made on short-range nuclear forces and on conventional forces. Underlying these developments is the historical groundswell of worldwide support for disarmament. The cold-war framework of East-West relations structured around relations between the United States and the Soviet Union is beginning to crumble after having defined postwar politics for so long, and the world is groping its way toward a new order of international peace. It is imperative that we seize the moment to build a brighter future for all humankind.

The government of Japan should return to the pacifist ideals embodied in its Constitution and, rather than resisting the current of detente, should curb its military spending and take the initiative in working for lasting world peace. It is of paramount importance that Japan exercise vigorous diplomatic efforts for peace, gaining the cooperation of the other countries concerned and working for the non-nuclearization of the Asia-Pacific region. Along with making every effort to discover the truth about the nuclear-armed U.S. military aircraft that sank off Okinawa, it is imperative that the government establish policies to keep the three non-nuclear principles from becoming moot and urge the United States government in the strongest terms to strictly observe these basic tenets of national policy.

This year marks the centennial of Hiroshima's incorporation as a city and the fortieth anniversary of the passage of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial City Construction Law. Significantly, Hiroshima is currently hosting the Second World Conference of Mayors for Peace through Inter-city Solidarity. Bringing together about 130 mayors from more than 30 countries, this Conference transcends systemic differences and national borders to engage in vigorous discussion of The Role of Cities in the Nuclear Age: Toward the Total Abolition of Nuclear Weapons.

In October, the Ninth World Congress of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War will be held in Hiroshima around the basic theme of No More Hiroshimas: An Eternal Commitment.

The United Nations Special Session on Disarmament was held in Kyoto in April, the first time it has ever met in Japan. The participants in this Special Session visited Hiroshima, saw for themselves the awful aftermath of nuclear weapons, heightened their awareness of this horrible potential, and strengthened their determination to abolish nuclear weapons.

This year's special appeal for funds to preserve the Atomic Bomb Dome and its warning of the danger that nuclear weapons pose to human survival has drawn a strong response from Japan and overseas. Last fiscal year, the Peace Memorial Museum drew over 1.45 million visitors, a record number. These facts are eloquent witness to the way the Spirit of Hiroshima is spreading irresistibly.

Hiroshima must continue to toll its warning at home and abroad until a new world order is established founded upon co-existence and co-prosperity for all humankind.

Profoundly sympathetic to the suffering of all the people of the world, our hearts go out to the many people suffering from starvation, destitution, abasement of human rights, the destruction of the global environment, and other wrongs, and Hiroshima appeals fervently to all countries concerned for a prompt resolution of these ills.

Hiroshima continues to issue its appeal:
For a prompt and comprehensive nuclear test ban and the abolition of all such weapons.
For all of the leaders of today and tomorrow alike to visit Hiroshima and to see for themselves the truth of nuclear destruction.
For the establishment of an international research institute in Hiroshima devoted to peace and disarmament.
Today, on the occasion of the 44th Peace Memorial Ceremony, we offer our heartfelt prayers for the repose of the souls of the many victims of the atomic bombing. Along with appealing most strongly to the government of Japan to institute policies to support relief for the aging hibakusha under the principle of national indemnification, we do hereby pledge our every and undying effort to the cause of world peace.

August 6, 1989

Takeshi Araki
Mayor
The City of Hiroshima


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