@11 days until Hiroshima Summit: Mayors for Peace

by Kana Kobayashi, Staff Writer

Hiroshima has an organization pursuing the elimination of nuclear weapons and permanent peace through solidarity among cities beyond the framework of sovereign states. It is called “Mayors for Peace” for which successive Hiroshima mayors have served as chair. In 1982, Takeshi Araki, then Hiroshima Mayor, proposed its formation at a U.N. Special Session on Disarmament, and the World Conference of Mayors for Peace through Intercity Solidarity was established first as its predecessor.

Now, the Mayors for Peace has a membership of 8,256 cities in 166 countries and regions. Eight nuclear-armed nations except North Korea have member cities, too. The country with the largest number of members is Japan—1,738 municipalities accounting for 99.8 percent of the cities, wards, towns and villages in Japan. Iran, under suspicion of nuclear development, has the second largest membership at 1,016 cities. When Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, the City of Hanover in Germany held a flag of Mayors for Peace at its city hall to indicate its antiwar resolve. That action was reported at the organization’s general assembly held in Hiroshima in October last year to share its wish for peace with other member cities.

(Originally published on May 8, 2023)