Declarations from Hiroshima and Nagasaki
August 29, 2004

Tadatoshi Akiba, Mayor of Hiroshima
Hiroshima Declaration of Peace
Tadatoshi Akiba, Mayor of Hiroshima

"Nothing will grow for 75 years."

(August 6, 2004) -- Fifty-nine years have passed since the August sixth when Hiroshima was so thoroughly obliterated that many succumbed to such doom.

Dozens of corpses still bearing the agony of that day, souls torn abruptly from their loved ones and their hopes for the future, have recently re-surfaced on Ninoshima Island, warning us to beware the utter inhumanity of the atomic bombing and the gruesome horror of war.

Unfortunately, the human race still lacks both a lexicon capable of fully expressing that disaster and sufficient imagination to fill the gap. Thus, most of us float idly in the current of the day, clouding with self-indulgence the lens of reason through which we should be studying the future, blithely turning our backs on the courageous few.

As a result, the egocentric worldview of the US government is reaching extremes.

Ignoring the United Nations and its foundation of international law, the US has resumed research to make nuclear weapons smaller and more “usable.”

Elsewhere, the chains of violence and retaliation know no end: reliance on violence-amplifying terror and North Korea, among others, buying into the worthless policy of “nuclear insurance” are salient symbols of our times.

We must perceive and tackle this human crisis within the context of human history. In the year leading up to the 60th anniversary, which begins a new cycle of rhythms in the interwoven fabric that binds humankind and nature, we must return to our point of departure, the unprecedented A-bomb experience.

In the coming year, we must sow the seeds of new hope and cultivate a strong future-oriented movement.

Tadatoshi Akiba and Iccho Itoh, Mayor of Nagasaki, plant a Peace Tree in Leeds, England, October 19, 2003. Credit: Global Security Institute /
A Year of Action for a Nuclear-free World
To that end, the city of Hiroshima, along with the Mayors for Peace and our 611 member cities in 109 countries and regions, hereby declares the period beginning today and lasting until August 9, 2005, to be a Year of Remembrance and Action for a Nuclear-Free World.

Our goal is to bring forth a beautiful “flower” for the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings, namely, the total elimination of all nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth by the year 2020. Only then will we have truly resurrected hope for life on this “nothing will grow” planet.

The seeds we sow today will sprout in May 2005. At the Review Conference for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) to be held in New York, the Emergency Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons will bring together cities, citizens, and NGOs from around the world to work with like-minded nations toward adoption of an action program that incorporates, as an interim goal, the signing in 2010 of a Nuclear Weapons Convention to serve as the framework for eliminating nuclear weapons by 2020.

Mayors for Peace Join World Campaign
Around the world, this Emergency Campaign is generating waves of support. This past February, the European Parliament passed by overwhelming majority a resolution specifically supporting the Mayors for Peace campaign. At its general assembly in June, the US Conference of Mayors, representing 1183 US cities, passed by acclamation an even stronger resolution.

We anticipate that Americans, a people of conscience, will follow the lead of their mayors and form the mainstream of support for the Emergency Campaign as an expression of their love for humanity and desire to discharge their duty as the lone superpower to eliminate nuclear weapons.

We are striving to communicate the message of the hibakusha around the world and promote the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Peace Study Course to ensure, especially, that future generations will understand the inhumanity of nuclear weapons and the cruelty of war. In addition, during the coming year, we will implement a project that will mobilize adults to read eyewitness accounts of the atomic bombings to children everywhere.

Defend the Peace Constitution
The Japanese government, as our representative, should defend the Peace Constitution, of which all Japanese should be proud, and work diligently to rectify the trend toward open acceptance of war and nuclear weapons increasingly prevalent at home and abroad.

We demand that our government act on its obligation as the only A-bombed nation and become the world leader for nuclear weapons abolition, generating an anti-nuclear tsunami by fully and enthusiastically supporting the Emergency Campaign led by the Mayors for Peace.

We further demand more generous relief measures to meet the needs of our aging hibakusha, including those living overseas and those exposed in black rain areas.

Rekindling the memory of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we pledge to do everything in our power during the coming year to ensure that the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombings will see a budding of hope for the total abolition of nuclear weapons.

We humbly offer this pledge for the peaceful repose of all atomic bomb victims.

Contact: Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, PMB 121, 1187 Coast Village Road, Suite 1, Santa Barbara, CA 93108.

Nagasaki Peace Declaration
Iccho Itoh, Mayor of Nagasaki

How many people in the world now remember that fateful day? At 11:02 a.m. on August 9, fifty-nine years ago, the city of Nagasaki was instantly transformed into ruins by a single atomic bomb dropped from an American warplane, killing some 74,000 people and wounding 75,000. Today, Nagasaki's verdant cityscape attracts visitors from around the world, and its residents maintain a distinctive set of traditions and culture.

Nevertheless, the city's increasingly elderly atomic bomb survivors continue to suffer from the after-effects of the bombing as well as from health problems induced by the stress of their experience. We the citizens of Nagasaki call upon the world with a renewed sense of urgency, even as we reflect upon the intense suffering of those who have already perished.

We call upon the citizens of the United States to look squarely at the reality of the tragedies that have unfolded in the wake of the atomic bombings 59 years ago. The International Court of Justice has clearly stated in an advisory opinion that the threat of nuclear weapons or their use is generally contrary to international law. Notwithstanding, the US government continues to possess and maintain approximately 10,000 nuclear weapons, and is conducting an ongoing program of subcritical nuclear testing.

Nuclear Weapons Have Been Ruled Illegal
In addition, the so-called mini nuclear weapons that are the subject of new development efforts are intended to deliver truly horrific levels of force. In terms of the radioactivity that such weapons would release, there would be no difference compared to the bomb dropped on Nagasaki. So long as the world's leading superpower fails to change its posture of dependence on nuclear weapons, it is clear that the tide of nuclear proliferation cannot be stemmed. People of America: The path leading to the eventual survival of the human race unequivocally requires the elimination of nuclear arms. The time has come to join hands and embark upon this path.

We call upon the peoples of the world to recognize how scant is the value repeatedly being placed on human life, evidenced by events such as the war in Iraq and outbreaks of terrorism. Wisdom must prevail, and we must join together in enhancing and reinforcing the functions of the United Nations in order to resolve international conflicts, not by military force, but through concerted diplomatic efforts.

Next year will be the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombings, coinciding with the 2005 NPT Review Conference to be held at UN headquarters. With the approach of the coming year, let there be a convergence among the citizens of the world, NGOs, and all concerned parties who desire peace, so that the way may be opened for the elimination of those symbols of inhumanity known as nuclear weapons.

Honor Japan's Peaceful Constitution
We call upon the government of Japan to safeguard the peaceful underpinnings of its constitution, and, as the only nation ever to have experienced nuclear attack, to enact into law the threefold non-nuclear principle. The combination of the threefold non-nuclear principle with nuclear disarmament on the Korean Peninsula will pave the road towards the creation of a Northeast Asia nuclear-weapon-free zone. At the same time, the specifics of the Pyongyang Declaration must be agreed upon, while Japan itself must also pursue an independent security stance that does not rely on nuclear arms.

We call upon the world's youth to study the reality of the atomic bombings and to internalize a sense of respect for life, as our young people are doing in Nagasaki. The enthusiasm and hope manifested by youth who have considered the requirements of peace and are acting accordingly will serve to enlighten an increasingly confused world. Individuals who arise to take action close at hand can and will foster the realization of world peace and the abolition of nuclear weapons.

We in Nagasaki will continue to share our experiences of the atomic bombing of our city, and will work to make Nagasaki a center for peace studies and peace promotion. It is our hope that we will thus be able to form bonds of friendship and solidarity with people throughout the world.

Today, on the 59th anniversary of the atomic bombing, as we pray for the repose of those who died and recall to mind their suffering, we the citizens of Nagasaki pledge our commitment to the realization of true peace in the world, free from nuclear weapons.

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