Message from the Mayor of Hiroshima
Release Date 09 February 2015
Below is a message from the Mayor of Hiroshima which was read by Vice-Chancellor Sir David Bell during the University of Reading's Hiroshima at 70 event
February 9, 2015
"It is an honor and pleasure to send this message on the occasion of the "Hiroshima @ 70" symposium held at the University of Reading in commemoration of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
"On August 6, 1945, a single atomic bomb rendered Hiroshima a burnt plain. From infants to the elderly, tens of thousands of innocent civilians lost their lives in a single day. By the end of the year, 140,000 had died. An atomic bomb is an "absolute evil" that robs people of loving families and dreams for the future, plunging their lives into turmoil.
"The "absolute evil" is not susceptible to threats and counter-threats, killing and being killed. Military force just gives rise to new cycles of hatred. To eliminate the evil, we must transcend nationality, race, religion, and other differences, value person-to-person relationships, and build a world that allows forward-looking dialogue.
"Toward this end, Hiroshima hopes for everyone throughout the world to share the experiences and peaceful wish of our hibakusha and walk with them the path to nuclear weapons abolition and world peace. Mayors for Peace, an organization whose membership now exceeds 6,200 cities and which the City of Hiroshima presides over, will steadfastly promote the movement stressing the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and seeking to outlaw them. We will help strengthen international public demand for the start of negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention with the goal of total abolition by 2020.
"Each one of us will help determine the future of the human family. Please put yourself in the place of the hibakusha. Imagine their experiences, including that day from the depths of hell, actually happening to you or someone in your family. To make sure the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki never happen a third time, we hope that as many people as possible will communicate, think and act together with the hibakusha for a peaceful world without nuclear weapons and without war. In this sense, the symposium is truly significant and I extend my deepest respect for your commitment.
"This spring, the NPT Review Conference, a pivotal conference which will very likely have a decisive impact on our future, will be held. I would like to ask all of you, in response to the desire of all hibakusha, to continue to strive with us to eliminate the absolute evil of nuclear weapons and achieve a peaceful world.
"In closing, I extend my best wishes for the great success of this event as well as the good health and happiness of all in attendance.
MATSUI Kazumi, Mayor, The City of Hiroshima