Hiroshima mayor urges African ambassadors to support Mayors for Peace

by Michiko Tanaka, Staff Writer

On May 31 in Tokyo, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui attended a monthly meeting of the ambassadors from African nations to Japan and shared the various activities of Mayors for Peace, for which he serves as president. Seeking to deepen the African ambassadors’ understanding of the organization’s efforts, in which member cities around the world have joined forces to advance the goal of nuclear abolition, Mr. Matsui urged the ambassadors to help increase the member cities of Mayors for Peace.

The meeting participants consisted of ambassadors and ministers from 38 countries, all of which have embassies in Japan. Displaying various pictures on a screen depicting scenes of Hiroshima in the aftermath of the atomic bombing, the mayor explained in English that a single atomic bomb took the lives of tens of thousands of innocent people in just one day. Mr. Matsui then urged the participants to lend their support to the nuclear weapons ban treaty, and he talked about how Mayors for Peace has strengthened public opinion for realizing lasting peace in the world. In addition, Mr. Matsui called on the ambassadors and ministers to urge cities in their home countries to join Mayors for Peace. Masanori Nagata, the chairperson of the Hiroshima City Council also attended the monthly meeting and encouraged urged them to apply for membership in the organization. Some participants said that they are fully supportive of the Hiroshima initiative.

As of May 1, 2018, Mayors for Peace has 7,578 members from 163 countries and regions, including 376 cities from 47 African countries and regions. There are, however, no member cities in either Sudan or Angola, or in six other African nations.

(Originally published on June 1, 2018)