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Article ID:0000009714Updated on:2019年10月21日更新印刷ページ表示

Peace Declaration (1994)

The sun was dazzling bright that summer morning when a single atomic bomb instantly destroyed this town of Hiroshima and took its deadly toll. And it pains me to be unable to stand before this monument to those dead and to report to them that we finally have a world free of nuclear weapons.

It is now nearly half a century since that fateful day, and the present is a time of major transition, for the world at large and also for Japan, as we move from an era of conflict to an era of concert. Yet the world still bristles with nuclear weapons. Hiroshima, along with Nagasaki, appeals to the leaders of all nuclear-armed countries to promptly announce the elimination of their nuclear weapons. The world's leaders must understand that the development and possession of nuclear weapons is a crime against humanity. Thus we hope to have the Atomic Bomb Dome registered as part of the world's cultural heritage so that it can stand as a warning to all humankind.

Nuclear weapons - weapons of wide-spread and indiscriminate destruction and releasing massive doses of deadly radiation - are patently illegal under international law. This is something that the hibakusha know from personal experience. While the International Court of Justice is moving to review the legality of the use of nuclear weapons, we fervently hope the world will see the reality of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and will fully recognize the inhumanity of nuclear weapons.

As I stated at the Second United Nations Conference on Disarmament Issues in Hiroshima, we are opposed to the indefinite extension of a Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that makes no clear provisions for the elimination of nuclear weapons and perpetuates the uneasy relationship between the nuclear-weapon states and the non-nuclear-weapon states. The Japanese Government should take specific steps to demonstrate its opposition to nuclear weapons in global forums, including seeking to extend the three non-nuclear principles (of non-possession, non-manufacture, and non-introduction) to the international community and promoting the establishment of a nuclear-free zone in Northeast Asia, so as to fulfill the responsibilities incumbent upon it as a country that has suffered atomic bombing.

Noting how Hiroshima has overcome the tragedy of atomic bombing and is able to play host to the 12th Asian Games this October, one of the countries planning to take part in the Games characterized Hiroshima as a symbol of mankind's hopes for peace. These words give us new pride and confidence - although we must obviously never forget Japan's war against and colonial domination of the other nations of Asia.

Accidents at nuclear power plants, radioactive waste disposal, and the like pollute the entire world irrespective of political borders. It is thus all the more important that we have international transparency regarding the management of radioactive materials, particularly plutonium, and that nuclear power technology be subject to the controlling principles of democracy, independence, and transparency.

Having lived nearly 50 years with their affliction, the hibakusha are most anxious to have Japan enact the Hibakusha Relief Law for a better future. Now is the time for Japan to initiate far-reaching relief policies based upon the spirit of national indemnification for all hibakusha, regardless of who they are or where they live.

History is the tale of humankind's struggle to create a society in which people do not quake before the terror of war, do not suffer from poverty and malnutrition, and are not exposed to discrimination and prejudice. It is imperative that we continue to speak to young people everywhere of the horrors of war and Hiroshima's atomic bombing and hence of our dreams for the future.

At this ceremony commemorating the 49th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, I would thus like both to pay my sincere respects to the spirits of the dead here and to declare anew my determination to focus the energies of the people of Hiroshima for the building of a world of peace.

August 6, 1994

Takashi Hiraoka
Mayor
The City of Hiroshima

 


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