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Article ID:0000009718Updated on:2019年10月21日更新印刷ページ表示

Peace Declaration (1998)

Fifty-three years after the tragedy of Hiroshima, states remain deeply distrustful of each other and the world is on the brink of a new crisis.

With the nuclear tests by first India and then Pakistan, tension has been raised to new extremes in Southwest Asia and the nuclear non-proliferation regime has been shaken to its core. Having consistently argued nuclear weapons' inherent inhumanity and called upon the world for their abolition, Hiroshima is outraged at the two states' nuclear tests and fearful that they might provoke a chain reaction of nuclearization.

Contributing to this situation is the fact that the five declared nuclear states have clung to nuclear deterrence theory and made only glacial progress on the nuclear disarmament negotiations mandated under the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. The leaders of the nuclear states need to focus not on their own narrow national interests but on the future of humanity and need to fulfill their responsibilities to the international community as soon as possible.

The world cries out for new wisdom and new patterns of behavior. In keeping with the spirit of the advisory opinion issued by the International Court of Justice, all countries should immediately initiate negotiations on a treaty for the nonuse of nuclear weapons as one step on the road to these weapons' total abolishment.

We implore the government of Japan, the first country to suffer atomic bombing, to take the lead in effectively pressing the nuclear states for the abolition of nuclear weapons. At the same time, I believe it is imperative that all Japanese give serious thought to security policies that are not nuclear-dependent.

Many people throughout the world today still suffer from the aftermath of nuclear tests and other exposure. Their plight, together with Hiroshima's experience, makes the issues we face in this nuclear age explicit. Hiroshima is working to establish and strengthen interpersonal and intercity ties transcending national borders, and we hope that this network can impact international politics to create a nuclear-free world.

Hiroshima has long engaged in grass-roots cultural exchanges, held atomic bomb awareness exhibitions in Japan and overseas, promoted the formation of the World Conference of Mayors for Peace through Inter-city Solidarity, and otherwise sought to contribute to marshaling international public opinion in the cause of peace. This spring, we established the Hiroshima Peace Institute and began work on creating a better future for all the world. All of this has been consistent with Hiroshima's desire to be the world's "peace capital."

"Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person." So states the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Yet the current nuclear arsenals with their devastating consequences for all humanity compel us, 50 years after the Declaration's adoption, to reconsider our culture's infatuation with science and technology and to renew our commitment to working to create an international community in which the right to life is our highest priority.

On this 53rd Peace Memorial Day, I would like to offer our utmost respects to the souls of those who died from the atomic bombing and to call for compassionate assistance for all hibakusha responsive to their actual situations whether in Japan and overseas.

In closing, I proclaim anew that we are determined to act resolutely in the spirit of renouncing nuclear weapons so that all nations can escape the folly of relying on nuclear force for their security as soon as possible.

August 6, 1998

Takashi Hiraoka
Mayor
The City of Hiroshima


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