Mayors for Peace tops 4,500 member cities

by Yumi Kanazaki, Staff Writer

On February 1, the number of member cities of Mayors for Peace, for which Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba serves as president, surpassed 4,500, reaching 4,515. The news was announced by the Peace and International Solidarity Promotion Division at the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, where the Mayors for Peace Secretariat is located.

Since last July, when the number of member cities topped 4,000, about 500 more cities have joined the network. Manabu Iwasaki, division director of the Mayors for Peace Secretariat, thinks the organization’s stronger efforts in conjunction with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference held last May and worldwide momentum for nuclear abolition have served as a tailwind for the increase. He said that Mayors for Peace will seek to increase the number of its member cities to 5,000 within fiscal year 2011.

Among the 49 new member cities in January 2011, 13 of these cities are in Russia. Last September Mayor Akiba visited Volgograd in Russia and urged the cities of Russia to join Mayors for Peace. In addition to the 13 Russian cities, other cities that have recently joined Mayors for Peace include seven cities in Israel as well as the city of Hapcheon in South Korea, to which many Koreans returned to live after being exposed to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

(Originally published on February 2, 2011)

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