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Article ID:0000009720Updated on:2019年10月21日更新印刷ページ表示

Peace Declaration (2000)

Today we are witnessing the last August sixth of the twentieth century.

It has been precisely fifty-five years since one single atomic bomb created a hell on earth. Together with the hibakusha who rose from the depths of despair, we have shed tears of wrenching grief, comforted and encouraged each other, shared indignation and prayers, then studied and healed. Above all, we have appealed to the world through our actions. Our efforts have produced remarkable results in many respects: for example, we passed the Hiroshima Peace Memorial City Construction Law, constructed the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims, enacted the Atomic Bomb Survivors' Support Law, created a nuclear-free zone covering most of the Southern hemisphere, won a ruling by the International Court of Justice on the illegality of the use of nuclear weapons, concluded the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, registered the Atomic Bomb Dome as a World Heritage site, and persuaded the nuclear-weapon states to agree to "An unequivocal undertaking...to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals...." Of course, our most striking victory, for all humankind, is that nuclear weapons have not been used in war since Nagasaki. Unfortunately, our most fervent hope, to see nuclear weapons abolished by the end of this century, has not been realized.

We are determined, nevertheless, to overcome all obstacles and attain our goal in the twenty-first century. For this purpose also, it is imperative that we reinterpret the hibakusha experience in a broader context, find ever more effective ways to express its significance, and carry on the legacy as a universal human heritage. Our effort to preserve and utilize the Atomic Bomb Dome, now officially designated a World Heritage site, the former Bank of Japan Hiroshima Branch, which withstood the bomb's blast, and the many paper cranes sent by children from all over the world is important in this regard. It is also crucial that we mobilize the World Conference of Mayors for Peace through Inter-city Solidarity to translate the ruling that "nuclear weapons are illegal" into their abolition. Furthermore, we will continue to call on individuals everywhere to recognize whatever responsibility their own countries or ethnic groups may bear for war, to do everything in their power to break the chain of hatred and violence, to set out bravely on the road to reconciliation, and to ensure that the world abolishes all nuclear weapons without delay.

Looking back to ancient times - long before there were computers, pencils, or even written language - the twentieth century is distinguished from previous centuries by the fact that our science and technology have created concrete dangers that threaten the very existence of humankind. Nuclear weapons are one such danger. Global environmental degradation is another. They are both problems that we have brought upon ourselves, and both are problems that we must act responsibly to resolve.

Having called on the world to abolish nuclear weapons, Hiroshima wishes to make a new start as a model city demonstrating the use of science and technology for human purposes. We will create a future in which Hiroshima itself is the embodiment of those "human purposes." We will create a twenty-first century in which Hiroshima's very existence formulates the substance of peace. Such a future would exemplify a genuine reconciliation between humankind and the science and technology that have endangered our continued survival.

The north-south summit meeting on the Korean Peninsula was an outstanding example of human reconciliation. Patterned after the exchange of cherry trees and dogwood trees symbolic of Japan-U.S. friendship early in this century, Hiroshima would like, with the cooperation of both Japanese and American citizens, to create its own dogwood promenade symbolic of all such reconciliations. On the international stage, Hiroshima aspires to serve as a mediator actively creating reconciliation by helping to resolve conflict and animosity.

Again we call upon the government of Japan to recognize the crucial role that the hibakusha have played and to further enhance its support policies for them. In addition, we strongly call upon the government to forge the collective will to advocate the abolition of nuclear weapons and make common cause with Hiroshima for global reconciliation in accordance with the preamble to our Constitution.

Gathered here in Hiroshima on the last August sixth of the twentieth century, as our thoughts turn to humanity's past and future, we declare our resolve that, if we had only one pencil we would continue to write first of the sanctity of human life and then of the need to abolish nuclear weapons. Last but certainly not least, we pay our profound respects to the souls of all who perished in the tragedy of Hiroshima.

August 6, 2000

Tadatoshi Akiba
Mayor
The City of Hiroshima


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