Nagasaki mayor to address Obama speech on A-bomb anniversary

The mayor of Nagasaki said Friday he will seek support for U.S. President Barack Obama's appeal for a world free of nuclear weapons on the anniversary of the atomic bombing of the southwestern Japanese city.

Mayor Tomihisa Taue will also address a threat from North Korea's nuclear program, while calling on the international community to step up efforts to eradiate nuclear weapons in the Nagasaki Peace Declaration to be issued on Aug. 9.

''We normally mention how we suffered an atomic bombing and what it brought to our city at the outset of a declaration, but this year I will touch on how we view his (Obama) speech in Prague (in April),'' Taue said after his city government revealed the gist of the declaration.

''The U.S. president showed a resolve to root out nuclear weapons and it has been attracting attention from the victims of the atomic bombings,'' Taue said. ''Hopefully, this year's declaration will be impressive enough for people to remember Nagasaki's wish.''

Taue also plans to urge the Japanese government to play a leading role in international society on nuclear issues and call on leaders of the nuclear powers to visit Nagasaki.

Nagasaki will mark the 64th anniversary of the wartime U.S. atomic bombing of the city on Aug. 9, 1945, which killed an estimated 74,000 people. Three days earlier, the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, where about 140,000 people were killed.

This year's ceremony in Nagasaki will be attended by ambassadors or other representatives from a record 27 countries. U.N. General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto is scheduled to deliver a speech.

(Distributed by Kyodo News on July 31, 2009)