Full text of Nagasaki Peace Declaration 2010

August 10, 2010 - 0:0

The following is the full text of the Peace Declaration presented on August 9 by Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue at a ceremony to mark the 65th anniversary of the August 9, 1945 atomic bombing of the city.

This year's peace ceremony has commenced with a song by hibakusha, survivors of the atomic bombing.
The song was full of the strong hope that that fateful day must never be repeated.
On August 9, 1945 at 11:02 a.m., a single atomic bomb dropped by a United States military aircraft devastated Nagasaki instantly. The intense heat rays, blast winds, radiation, and ceaseless fires.... They claimed the precious lives of 74,000 people, while inflicting deep physical and mental wounds on those who narrowly escaped death.
Some 65 years have passed since that day. In the atomic bombing survivors, I see the hope of people singing from the bottom of their hearts, and always walking with invincible strides toward “a world without nuclear weapons.”
We call upon the leaders of the nuclear weapons states never to trample on humanity's efforts for “a world without nuclear weapons.”
This May, at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, concrete steps toward nuclear disarmament with specified timelines were proposed by the chairperson. This proposal was widely supported by non-nuclear weapons states. Expectations were raised among non-governmental organizations assembling in New York from around the world and among the people of Nagasaki, a city that has suffered the horror of atomic bombing.
The chairperson's proposal was later rejected by the government representatives of the nuclear weapons states of the U.S., Russia, the UK, France and China. The lack of sincere commitment from the nuclear weapons states toward nuclear disarmament could provoke antipathy and lead to the emergence of more new nuclear weapons states, increasing the threat of nuclear proliferation around the world. The NPT regime must be strongly supported as a minimum requirement to be observed, so that the number of nuclear weapons states does not increase.
We believe that a new treaty is necessary in order to take the steps to eliminate nuclear weapons. The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has already urged UN member countries to commence consideration of the Nuclear Weapons Convention. At the NPT Review Conference, many countries referred to the possibility of such consideration. As citizens of a city that has experienced atomic bombing, we strongly support the Nuclear Weapons Convention, which equally prohibits all countries from conducting any activities involving nuclear weapons, such as their production, possession and use.
Nagasaki and Hiroshima have long worked together to tell the world of the catastrophes caused by the atomic bombings, and to appeal for the weapons' abolishment. The government of Japan, a nation that has endured two atomic bombings, manifested its position as a non-nuclear country by stating the Three Non-Nuclear Principles as national policy. However, this year, 65 years after the atomic bombings, the Japanese government has revealed the existence of a “secret nuclear pact.” We harbor profound distrust of the government's past responses that have turned the Three Non-Nuclear Principles into a mere formality. Moreover, the government has recently been promoting negotiations on a nuclear agreement with India, a non-NPT member country with nuclear weapons. This means that a nation that has suffered atomic bombings itself is now severely weakening the NPT regime, which is beyond intolerable.
The first thing the Japanese government should do is to enact the Three Non-Nuclear Principles into law in order to restore the trust of the Japanese people. Also, the government should seek the denuclearization of Japan, South Korea and North Korea in a bid to realize security that does not rely upon a nuclear umbrella. We urge the Japanese government to propose the concept of a Northeast Asian Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone and to demonstrate to the international community its own leadership as the government of nation bombed by atomic weapons.
At the NPT Review Conference, the Japanese government, together with the governments of 41 other countries, including Russia, issued the Joint Statement on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education. We support this statement, and at the same time, look forward to the Japanese government promoting non-proliferation and disarmament education for young people around the world. In Nagasaki, there are still memories and scars left from the atomic bombing. There are atomic bomb survivors who believe it is their mission to tell, for the future, the story of their experiences, even as they continue to suffer from physical and psychological pain. There are many adults and young people who have never experienced an atomic bombing, but who are actively working for peace in a determined effort to follow the wishes of the hibakusha. Nagasaki, a city that experienced a nuclear attack, will continue contributing to non-proliferation and disarmament education.
I would like to remind everyone around the world that it is we ourselves who have the power to decide which path we should take, “a world with nuclear weapons” filled with distrust and threat, or “a world without nuclear weapons” based on trust and cooperation. For our children, we have responsibility for creating a future without the fear of nuclear weapons. Even though on our own each of us might be small and weak, by joining together we can become a force to make governments act and to create a new history. Let us convey our intention fully and clearly to our governments.
Many people in the world are continuing their peace efforts toward the abolishment of nuclear weapons. In cooperation with them, the city of Nagasaki will establish an extensive global network of peace citizens to unite with a city that has suffered nuclear attack.
The average age of the remaining survivors has now exceeded 76; fewer and fewer of them are able to attend this ceremony each year. From the perspective of providing relief for aging atomic bomb survivors both in Japan and overseas, we call on the Japanese government to hasten in offering them further support.
We offer our sincere condolences on the deaths of the atomic bomb victims, and pledge to continue our utmost efforts together with the city of Hiroshima, until the day when nuclear weapons no longer exist on the earth.
(Source: Mainichi Japan)
Photo: Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue delivers the 'Peace Declaration' during the Peace Memorial Ceremony for atomic bomb victims in Nagasaki, western Japan on August 9, 2010. (Getty Images) -