Hiroshima and the World
Hiroshima was the first city in human history to suffer an atomic bombing. As a result of that experience, Hiroshima, together with Nagasaki, has striven for many years to convey the horrific danger of nuclear weapons to the world. And yet, sixty-four years later, humanity is still imperiled by the threat of nuclear warfare and now the menace of nuclear terrorism. Under this cloud of concern, the Chugoku Shimbun has launched “Hiroshima and the World,” a series of contributions by prominent figures across the globe. Politicians, scholars, physicians, peace activists, and other specialists share their perspectives on current nuclear issues. These special essays appear twice a month in the Chugoku Shimbun and on the website of the Hiroshima Peace Media Center.
<36> A Nuclear Weapons Convention — Now We Can!, by Alyn Ware (July 26, 2010)
Alyn Ware, a noted peace educator and consultant for peace and disarmament, believes that the outcome of the 2010 NPT Review Conference now makes it possible to pursue the realization of a nuclear weapons convention that will abolish nuclear weapons from the earth.
<35> Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the Heart of Abolition, by Steven Leeper (July 13, 2010)
Steven Leeper shares his experiences campaigning for the abolition of nuclear weapons as chairman of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation. Mr. Leeper writes that “the vast majority of countries, cities and people on this planet” want nuclear arms to be eliminated. In order to achieve this goal, we must spread the message of the hibakusha “into every home in every country around the world.”
<34> Awakening America’s “Moral Responsibility to Act”, by Peter Kuznick (June 28, 2010)
Peter Kuznick, Professor of History and Director of the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University in Washington, DC, argues that “we must heed the message of the hibakusha” and eliminate nuclear weapons from the earth. “The possibility of human extinction is the real meaning of the nuclear age,” he writes.
<33> Walking the Path of Peace, by U.S. Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (June 14, 2010)
Dennis Kucinich argues for our higher nature which seeks peace. “Violence is not inevitable,” he writes. “The myth of the inevitability of violence has carried with us the lowest expectations of ourselves. It does not comprehend the human capacity for transcendence which enables us to strive towards divinity, that we can be more than we are, better than we are.”
<32> Hiroshima’s Place in the World, by Adolfo Pérez Esquivel (May 24, 2010)
Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate from Argentina, offers a poetic and philosophical look at the significance and role of Hiroshima in human history. “Hiroshima is the living consciousness of humanity,” he writes. “It has resurfaced in the hope that another world is possible.”
<31> The Cherry Tree of Hiroshima, by Wangari Maathai (May 10, 2010)
Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai, of Kenya, founder of the Green Belt Movement, urges readers: “We must all plant seeds of peace–not only symbolically but as a response to the planetary emergency. We must honor the sacred traditions that once protected the earth and rediscover our place in the great web of life, which sustains us and provides us with inspiration and joy.”
<30> Hiroshima, Nuclear Abolition, Hibakusha, Costa Ricans and the Model Nuclear Convention, by Carlos Vargas Pizarro (April 26, 2010)
Carlos Vargas Pizarro, vice-president of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA), shares his involvement in legal efforts surrounding nuclear weapons, including the Model Nuclear Weapons Convention.
<29> Citizen Action, the Foundation for Nuclear Weapons Abolition, by Joseph Gerson (March 29, 2010)
The National Disarmament Coordinator for the American Friends Service Committee, Joseph Gerson seeks to inspire citizens of the world to take action to help produce a positive outcome at the upcoming NPT Review Conference.
<28> What Color is Hiroshima?, by Ronni Alexander (March 15, 2010)
Ronni Alexander, a professor at the Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies, Kobe University, and a long-time resident of Japan, poses the question of Hiroshima’s “color” to examine the significance of Hiroshima to the world.
<27> The Road to Zero, by Susi Snyder (March 1, 2010)
Susi Snyder, the Programme Leader for Nuclear Disarmament at IKV Pax Christi, an international NGO based in the Netherlands, shares a perspective from Europe with regard to “the road to zero” nuclear weapons in the world.
<26> No More Hiroshimas, by Jayantha Dhanapala (Feb. 15, 2010)
Jayantha Dhanapala, the current president of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, believes that “the simplest and most direct route” to abolishing nuclear weapons “would be to negotiate a verifiable Nuclear Weapon Convention.”
<25> Pathways to the Denuclearization of North Korea, by Chung-in Moon (Jan. 25, 2010)
Yonsei University professor Chung-in Moon argues that the challenge posed by North Korea must be met by “negotiated settlement through peaceful and diplomatic means and the gradual change of North Korea through engagement.”
<24> Hiroshima is the Heart of It All, by Diana Roose (Dec. 28, 2009)
Diana Roose, the author of a book relating the stories of A-bomb survivors, writes that “Hibakusha have shown courage and compassion, and provided testimony and truth. Without their stories, our ethical views would become abstract and our political actions would be empty.”
<23> South Asia’s Nuclear Specter, by J. Sri Raman (Dec. 15, 2009)
J. Sri Raman, a freelance journalist and peace activist in India, offers insight into the dangerous state of nuclear weapons threatening India and Pakistan. There is “a real chance of the most disastrous of conflicts erupting in this densely populated region,” he writes.
<22> Hiroshima’s Message to the World, by Judge Christopher Gregory Weeramantry (Nov. 23, 2009)
Judge Weeramantry, former Vice-President of the International Court of Justice, argues that nuclear weapons are “absolutely illegal under international law” and “international lawyers throughout the world are in agreement with that opinion.”
<21>We can imagine and build a world free of nuclear weapons, by Tilman Ruff (Nov. 10, 2009)
Chair of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Tilman Ruff says that his responsibility as a physician is to “advocate for prevention” when “no viable treatment” exists. “Preventing the use of nuclear weapons,” he argues, “requires abolishing them.”
＜20＞From the Old Nuclear Order to the New Anti-Nuclear Order, by Issam Makhoul (Oct. 26, 2009)
Chairperson of the Emil Touma Institute for Palestinian & Israeli Studies, Issam Makhoul writes that the “insistence on nuclear monopoly, in the Middle East in particular, jeopardizes the cause of world peace, and the well-being of the peoples in the region.”
＜19＞Opportunity to Lead: Japan’s Critical Role in the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, by Joseph Cirincione (Oct. 12, 2009)
Joseph Cirincione, President of Ploughshares Fund, argues that the new Japanese administration “should repeat as often and as clearly as possible that it supports reductions in U.S. and other nations’ nuclear arsenals” as well as “U.S. ratification of the nuclear test ban treaty.”
＜18＞Envisioning the abolition of nuclear weapons by 2020, by Aaron Tovish (Sept. 28, 2009)
Aaron Tovish, the International Director of the 2020 Vision Campaign advocated by Mayors for Peace, offers insight into this effort to eliminate nuclear weapons from the earth by the year 2020.
＜17＞Toward a Nuclear Weapons Convention: Now or Never?, by Jody Williams (Sept. 14, 2009)
Jody Williams, who received the the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for her work to ban landmines, argues that we now have a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stop the world’s nuclear arms race and start building sustainable peace and security in a world free of nuclear weapons.”
＜16＞My First “Hiroshima Day”, by Daniel Ellsberg (Aug. 24, 2009)
Daniel Ellsberg, an American noted for his role as a whistleblower during the Vietnam War, describes his first encounter with the notion of nuclear weapons and the “dangerous state of mind” of the American public in regard to such weapons of mass destruction.
＜15＞South Africa’s path from a nuclear-weapon state to a non-nuclear-weapon state, by David Whitefoord Steward(Aug. 10, 2009)
David Whitefoord Steward, executive director of the F W de Klerk Foundation, offers insight into South Africa’s example as “the only country in the world that has ever voluntarily dismantled a nuclear arms capability that it had developed itself.”
＜14＞”Atomic Bomb Literature” warns us about the future, by Urszula Styczek (July 27, 2009)
Urszula Styczek, a university educator in Hiroshima and a specialist in atomic bomb literature, shares her thoughts on handing down the vital messages contained in A-bomb literature to future generations.
＜13＞The Hiroshima Challenge, by David Krieger (July 13, 2009)
David Krieger, president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, argues passionately that “we must meet the Hiroshima challenge” and “never give up until our world has been freed from the nuclear threat to humanity first revealed at Hiroshima.”
＜12＞The Hiroshima View, by Martin Sherwin (June 29, 2009)
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Martin Sherwin offers a historical perspective on the decision to use the atomic bomb in World War II, arguing that the elimination of nuclear weapons “requires a reversal of views grounded in six decades of United States policies.”
＜11＞Nuclear Disarmament, The Long Road from Hiroshima, by Gareth Evans (June 16, 2009)
Former Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans, now Co-Chair of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (ICNND), shares insight into this effort to advance international momentum on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.
＜10＞Tragedies Bestow No Privilege, by Yakov Rabkin (May 25, 2009)
Professor Rabkin of the University of Montreal comments on the conflict in the Middle East, contending that Israel’s “overwhelming might”–which includes nuclear weapons–“has not brought her peace.”
＜9＞Hiroshima, History, and the Modern Sword of Damocles, by Scott Ritter (May 11, 2009)
A former UN weapons inspector in Iraq, Scott Ritter argues that “there can be no true security as long as nuclear weapons exist, in any form and under any nation’s control.”
＜8＞Through neutrality, Finland pursues conflict resolution and peace, by Vappu Taipale (April 27, 2009)
Dr. Vappu Taipale, the co-president of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), shares her experience of Hiroshima and how, to Finns, “peace is not only the absence of war.”
＜7＞Time for the use of nuclear weapons to be recognised as a crime against humanity, by Rebecca Johnson (April 14, 2009)
Director of the Acronym Institute for Disarmament Diplomacy in the U.K., Rebecca Johnson argues for a Nuclear Weapons Convention as well as the interim step of declaring the use of nuclear weapons a crime against humanity.
＜6＞Meditations from Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, by Nassrine Azimi (March 23, 2009)
The director of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research in Hiroshima, Nassrine Azimi shares her impressions of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and its powerful legacy of destruction and resurrection.
＜5＞The Hope of Hiroshima, by Douglas Roche (March 9, 2009)
A longtime Canadian statesman and specialist in disarmament issues, Douglas Roche describes the hope Hiroshima inspires, through its example, for overcoming the peril of nuclear weapons.
＜4＞Inspired by Hibakusha, by Kate Dewes (Feb. 23, 2009)
A member of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters, Kate Dewes shares how her first awareness of hibakusha as a high school teacher in New Zealand led her into a life of anti-nuclear activism.
＜3＞The Lesson of Hiroshima, by Alexander Likhotal (Feb. 10, 2009)
A Russian historian and advisor to Mikhail Gorbachev, Alexander Likhotal urges the United States and Russia to take the lead in advancing disarmament and abolition.
＜2＞Have Pakistan and India forgotten Hiroshima?, by Pervez Hoodbhoy (Jan. 26, 2009)
A prominent nuclear physicist from Pakistan, Pervez Hoodbhoy warns of the danger for India and Pakistan in forgetting the “horrible lesson” of Hiroshima.
＜1＞The Wisdom of Survivors, by Dr. Robert Jay Lifton (Jan. 3, 2009)
Eminent American psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton discusses how the experience of the atomic bombings has impacted A-bomb survivors and the world at large.