Peace Declaration to appeal to the world for nuclear abolition

by Uzaemonnaotsuka Tokai, Staff Writer

At a press conference held on August 3, Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba revealed the main points of the Peace Declaration to be read out at the Peace Memorial Ceremony on August 6. With an eye toward the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference to be held in New York next May, the mayor remarked, “The ceremony draws considerable attention from the world and I plan to appeal directly to the international community for the abolition of nuclear weapons. At the end of the declaration, I will make this appeal in English.”

In the declaration, Mayor Akiba will emphasize the importance of the speech in Prague given by U.S. President Barack Obama in April 2009, in which the president clearly articulated his intention to strive for the elimination of nuclear weapons. A majority of the world’s people support the abolition of nuclear weapons, the mayor said, and he will urge the “Obamajority” to unite their power for this cause. “We mustn’t just leave it to the president of the nuclear superpower to abolish nuclear weapons,” he stressed. “Instead we, the majority of the world, must express our determination to further our efforts.”

Regarding the vision for eliminating nuclear weapons by the year 2020, proposed by Mayors for Peace, for which Mr. Akiba serves as president, the mayor stated that achieving this aim is “our minimum responsibility for the next generation.” The mayor will also propose the idea of founding a “Lower House at the United Nations,” comprised of 200 of the world’s cities, so that the voices of citizens can be reflected in international politics.

Mayor Akiba will also refer to a series of class action lawsuits on atomic bomb diseases, which the central government has lost in succession, and call on the government to enhance relief measures for the A-bomb survivors.

(Originally published on August 4, 2009)

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