2006 Nagasaki Peace Declaration
The following text
is of Mayor Iccho Itoh's 2006 Nagasaki Peace Declaration:
What can people possibly be thinking?
At the close of the 61st year following the atomic bombings,
voices of anger and frustration are echoing throughout the
city of Nagasaki.
At 11:02 a.m. on August 9, 1945, a single atomic bomb destroyed
our city, instantly claiming the lives of 74,000 people and
injuring 75,000 more. People were burned by the intense heat
rays and flung through the air by the horrific blast winds.
Their bodies bathed in mordant radiation, many of the survivors
continue to suffer from the after-effects even today. How
can we ever forget the anguished cries of those whose lives
and dreams were so cruelly taken from them?
And yet, some 30,000 nuclear weapons stand ready nonetheless
to annihilate humanity.
A decade ago, the International Court of Justice stated that
the threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary
to the rules of international law, strongly encouraging international
society to strive for the elimination of nuclear armaments.
Six years ago at the United Nations, the nuclear weapon states
committed themselves not merely to prevent proliferation,
but to an unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the total
elimination of their nuclear arsenals.
Nuclear weapons are instruments of indiscriminate genocide,
and their elimination is a task that mankind must realize
Last year, the 2005 Review Conference of the Parties to the
Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, to which
189 countries are signatories, ended without result, and no
progress has been observed since.
The nuclear weapon states have not demonstrated sincerity
in their efforts at disarmament; the United States of America
in particular has issued tacit approval of nuclear weapons
development by India, and is moving forward with the construction
of cooperative arrangements for nuclear technology. At the
same time, nuclear weapon declarant North Korea is threatening
the peace and security of Japan and the world as a whole.
In fact, the very structure of non-proliferation is facing
a crisis due to nuclear ambitions by various nations including
Pakistan, which has announced its possession of nuclear arms;
Israel, which is widely considered to possess them; and Iran.
The time has come for those nations that rely on the force
of nuclear armaments to respectfully heed the voices of peace-loving
people, not least the atomic bomb survivors, to strive in
good faith for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation,
and to advance towards the complete abolishment of all such
It must also be said that nuclear weapons cannot be developed
without the cooperation of scientists. We would urge scientists
to realize their responsibility for the destiny of all mankind,
not just for their own particular countries, and to abandon
the development of nuclear arms.
Once again we call upon the Japanese government, representing
as it does a nation that has experienced nuclear devastation
firsthand, to ground itself in reflection upon history, uphold
the peaceful intentions of the constitution, enact into the
law the three non-nuclear principles, and work for establishment
of a Northeast Asian Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone, that the tragedy
of war may not occur again. We also urge the Japanese government
to provide greater assistance to aging atomic bomb survivors,
both within Japan and overseas.
For 61 years, the hibakusha atomic bomb survivors have recounted
their tragic experiences to succeeding generations. Many have
chosen not to hide the keloid scars on their skin, continuing
to tell of things that they might rather not remember. Their
efforts are indeed a starting point for peace. Their voices
reverberate around the world, calling for the deepest compassion
of those who are working to ensure that Nagasaki is the last
place on our planet to have suffered nuclear destruction.
The 3rd Nagasaki Global Citizens' Assembly for the Elimination
of Nuclear Weapons will be held in October of this year. We
invite people working for peace to span generations and national
boundaries, and gather together to communicate. Let us firmly
join hands and foster an even stronger network for nuclear
abolition and peace, extending from Nagasaki throughout the
We remain confident that the empathy and solidarity of all
those who inherit the hopes of the hibakusha atomic bomb survivors
will become an even more potent force, one that will surely
serve to realize a peaceful world free of nuclear weapons.
In closing, we pray for the undisturbed repose of the souls
of those who lost their lives in such misery, we resolve that
2006 should be a new year of departure, and we proclaim our
commitment to continue to strive for the establishment of
lasting world peace.
Mayor of Nagasaki
August 9, 2006