Message from M. Kazumi Matsui
It is an honor and pleasure to send this message on the occasion of the Commemoration ceremonies of the Hiroshima & Nagasaki bombings, August 6 & 9, 1945.
On August 6, 1945, a single atomic bomb rendered Hiroshima a scorched plain and tens of thousands were burned in flames. By year’s end, 140,000 irreplaceable lives had been taken. Those who managed to survive, their lives grotesquely distorted, were left to suffer serious physical and emotional aftereffects compounded by discrimination and prejudice. Nuclear weapons are an absolute evil and ultimate inhumanity.
This absolute evil in the form of more than 15,000 nuclear weapons still exists in the world, threatening the very survival of human beings. As long as such weapons remain, anyone could become a hibakusha at any time.
Human beings, regardless of differences of nationality, race, religion, and language, share the planet to live out our one-time-only lives. To coexist, instead of resorting to the inhumane threat posed by nuclear weapons, we must value person-to-person relationships, and build a world that allows forward-looking dialogue.
Toward this end, we call on everyone throughout the world to share the sincere message of our hibakusha, “No one else should ever suffer as we have,” and to act with us. This heartrending message, forged through suffering and sorrow by transcending anger and hatred and by looking ahead to the future of human beings, can be a driving force to unify people beyond a series of differences. Mayors for Peace, whose membership now exceeds 7,000 cities in 161 countries and regions, has shared the hibakusha’s message and devoted itself to mobilizing people beyond national borders and increasing international momentum toward negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention. Our goal is the total abolition by 2020.
Currently, the need for a legal framework to ban nuclear weapons has been increasingly recognized by the international community. It is now necessary to urge policymakers around the world to share the hibakusha’s sentiment and to tirelessly engage in dialogue. The roles of cities, NGOs and citizens, all of which can give a boost to this effort, are more important than ever. In this sense, these excellent collaborative events between ACDN and the city of Saintes are truly significant and I extend my deepest respect for your endeavors.
I would like to ask all of you to continue to strive with us by taking this opportunity to renew your commitment to the elimination of the absolute evil of nuclear weapons and to the realization of world peace.
In closing, I extend my best wishes for the great success of these events as well as the good health and happiness of all in attendance.
August 6th, 2016
The City of Hiroshima
President of Mayors for Peace
CITY OF NAGASAKI
On behalf of the citizens of Nagasaki, I would like to extend this message to the
“Commemoration of the Hiroshima & Nagasaki bombings, August 6 & 9, 1945.”
At 11:02 a.m., August 9th, 1945, Nagasaki was devastated by a single atomic bomb. 74,000 precious lives were lost, and a further 75,000 were injured. Those who narrowly survived carry deep mental and physical wounds that will never heal. Even today, 71 years after the bombing, many people are still suffering from the aftereffects of radiation.
In order to prevent a repetition of the tragedy wrought by nuclear weapons, the citizens of Nagasaki have continued to convey the reality of the atomic bombing, and have appealed for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
Awareness is growing within the international community towards the inhumanity of nuclear weapons. In April 2015, I participated in the “Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)”, which was held at the United Nations headquarters in New York. There, I appealed to government representatives from around the world, urging them to make the Conference a turning point for a new world which denies the worth of nuclear weapons. At the same time, I requested that heads of state, and those involved in the nuclear problem, visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Following this, an Open-ended Working Group to debate a legal framework for the abolition of nuclear weapons was held at the UN General Assembly. The debate began in February at the UN Office at Geneva, and a report and a recommendation is due to be published in the fall.
The threat posed by nuclear weapons is not confined to Hiroshima and Nagasaki’s pasts. Nuclear weapons are a problem threatening both our present and our future. Nagasaki will continue to work with you for the abolition of nuclear weapons, and for the realization of lasting world peace.
Through “Commemoration of the Hiroshima & Nagasaki bombings, August 6 & 9, 1945”, I hope that ACDN and the citizens of Saintes will share Nagasaki’s wish for peace, and spread the appeal for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
In closing, please accept my best wishes for the good health and happiness of all those present.
Mayor of Nagasaki
See the report of the ceremonies