Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki visit embassies of nuclear powers to call for visits by their leaders

by Kohei Okata, Staff Writer

Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba and Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue visited the embassies of nuclear weapon states in Tokyo on October 26. They delivered letters of request addressed to the state leaders which call on them to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki prior to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference slated for next May.

The letters urge the state leaders to hear the accounts of A-bomb survivors in the A-bombed cities and take on a leadership role in creating "a world without nuclear weapons." On October 26, the two mayors handed letters to the ambassadors and other high-ranking officials from France, the United Kingdom, Russia, Pakistan and Israel. On October 27, they will visit the embassies of India and the United States. For China and North Korea, the letters will be mailed.

After visiting the Russian Embassy, Mayor Akiba spoke to the media, saying, "They have assured us that our message will be communicated to their presidents and prime ministers. I think the positive reactions may well lead to the realization of visits by those state leaders."

(Originally published on October 27, 2009)