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Article ID:0000009715Updated on:2019年10月21日更新印刷ページ表示

Peace Declaration (1995)

It is now half a century to the day since Hiroshima was devastated by the atomic bomb. Along with recalling that fateful day and praying for the souls of the many who died, and being acutely aware of the difficulties the aging hibakusha face, I cannot but repeat in the strongest possible terms that the development and possession of nuclear weapons constitutes a crime against humanity.

Throughout this half-century, we have told all the world of the human devastation that the atomic bombs wrought, particularly the unprecedented damage of radiation, in a consistent appeal that nuclear weapons be abolished. Yet distrust among nations is deep-rooted and there are vast stockpiles of nuclear weapons around the globe, creating a formidable barrier to the attainment of our ideal. It is profoundly saddening that some people see the possession of nuclear weapons as symbolic of a nation's strength.

Nuclear weapons are clearly inhumane weapons in obvious violation of international law. So long as such weapons exist, it is inevitable that the horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will be repeated - somewhere, sometime - in an unforgivable affront to humanity itself.

If humanity is to maintain hope for the future, we must act now with courage and decisiveness to achieve a nuclear-free world. As a first step, we call for an immediate and comprehensive nuclear test ban and the establishment of a new nuclear-free zone in the Asia-Pacific. In keeping with the Constitution's pacifist ideals and proclaiming its three non-nuclear principles (of non-possession, non-manufacture, and non-introduction), the government of Japan should take the lead in working for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Likewise, we also call upon the government to be more supportive of all hibakusha - these witnesses to the nuclear era - in Japan and elsewhere.

The possession of nuclear weapons is no guarantee of national security. Rather, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the transfer of nuclear weapons technology, and the leakage of nuclear materials are all threats to the survival of the human race. Like the suppression of human rights, impoverishment and starvation, regional conflict, and the destruction of the global environment, these are all major threats to world peace.

This is an era in which we must think of global security. It is a time to foster human solidarity transcending national borders, to pool our wisdom, and to work together to establish world peace.

At this 50th anniversary of the end of World War II, it is important to look at the stark reality of war in terms of both aggrieved and aggriever so as to develop a common understanding of history. The suffering of all the war's victims indelibly etched in our hearts, we want to apologize for the unbearable suffering that Japanese colonial domination and war inflicted on so many people.

Memory is where past and future meet. Respectfully learning the lessons of the past, we want to impress the misery of war and the atomic bombing on the generations of younger people who will be tomorrow's leaders. Similarly, we also need to emphasize the human aspects of education as the basis for peace. Only when life and human rights are accorded the highest priority can young people enjoy lives of boundless hope.

At this Peace Memorial Ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the atomic bombing, I am resolved to spare no effort in achieving the abolition of nuclear Weapons and the attainment of world peace.

August 6, 1995

Takashi Hiraoka
Mayor
The City of Hiroshima

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