City of Hiroshima to craft new action plan for nuclear abolition at Mayors for Peace conference in August

by Kohei Okata, Staff Writer

The City of Hiroshima announced on June 25 that the city will craft an action plan for urging the nations of the world to conclude a nuclear weapons convention with a view to eliminating nuclear weapons by 2020. The action plan will be developed during the General Conference of Mayors for Peace, chaired by Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui, which will take place from August 3 to 6 at the International Conference Center Hiroshima.

Mayors for Peace holds a general conference every four years either in Hiroshima or Nagasaki. The theme of this year’s conference, the first to be held in Hiroshima in eight years, is “Toward a World without Nuclear Weapons - Conveying the Spirit of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to the World.”

Based on the 2020 Vision, a proposal by Mayors for Peace which calls for immediate action to advance the abolition of nuclear weapons, discussions will be held on August 4 and 5 regarding the organization’s action plan for the next four years to press the international community to conclude a nuclear weapons convention. Other themes will include promoting cooperation with citizens. The conference will close after adopting the “Hiroshima Appeal.”

The international community is beginning to give greater focus to the inhumanity of nuclear arms and is moving to outlaw their use. Attention will be paid to how these current conditions will be reflected in the discussions at the Mayors for Peace conference. Following the opening ceremony on August 3, the participants will have an opportunity to listen to an A-bomb survivor’s testimony, and on August 6, they will attend the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony.

This information was provided on June 25 by Toru Oikawa, director general of the Citizens Affairs Bureau, during the general inquiry session of the city assembly. Mr. Oikawa said, “A viable action plan will be developed to press for the conclusion of a nuclear weapons convention.”

As of June 1, Mayors for Peace has 5,645 member cities in 156 countries and regions. At the general conference, the participants will confirm the introduction, in fiscal 2015, of an annual membership fee of 2,000 yen per member.

(Originally published on June 26, 2013)