This August 6, the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombing, is a moment of shared lamentation in which more than 300 thousand souls of A-bomb victims and those who remain behind transcend the boundary between life and death to remember that day. It is also a time of inheritance, of awakening, and of commitment, in which we inherit the commitment of the hibakusha to the abolition of nuclear weapons and realization of genuine world peace, awaken to our individual responsibilities, and recommit ourselves to take action. This new commitment, building on the desires of all war victims and the millions around the world who are sharing this moment, is creating a harmony that is enveloping our planet.
The keynote of this harmony is the hibakusha warning, "No one else should ever suffer as we did," along with the cornerstone of all religions and bodies of law, "Thou shalt not kill." Our sacred obligation to future generations is to establish this axiom, especially its corollary, "Thou shalt not kill children," as the highest priority for the human race across all nations and religions. The International Court of Justice advisory opinion issued nine years ago was a vital step toward fulfilling this obligation, and the Japanese Constitution, which embodies this axiom forever as the sovereign will of a nation, should be a guiding light for the world in the 21st century.
Unfortunately, the Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty this past May left no doubt that the U.S., Russia, U.K., France, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea and a few other nations wishing to become nuclear-weapon states are ignoring the majority voices of the people and governments of the world, thereby jeopardizing human survival.
Based on the dogma "Might is right," these countries have formed their own "nuclear club," the admission requirement being possession of nuclear weapons. Through the media, they have long repeated the incantation, "Nuclear weapons protect you." With no means of rebuttal, many people worldwide have succumbed to the feeling that "There is nothing we can do." Within the United Nations, nuclear club members use their veto power to override the global majority and pursue their selfish objectives.
To break out of this situation, Mayors for Peace, with more than 1,080 member cities, is currently holding its sixth General Conference in Hiroshima, where we are revising the Emergency Campaign to Ban Nuclear Weapons launched two years ago. The primary objective is to produce an action plan that will further expand the circle of cooperation formed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the European Parliament, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and other international NGOs, organizations and individuals worldwide, and will encourage all world citizens to awaken to their own responsibilities with a sense of urgency, "as if the entire world rests on their shoulders alone," and work with new commitment to abolish nuclear weapons.
To these ends and to ensure that the will of the majority is reflected at the UN, we propose that the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, which will meet in October, establish a special committee to deliberate and plan for the achievement and maintenance of a nuclear-weapon-free world. Such a committee is needed because the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva and the NPT Review Conference in New York have failed due to a "consensus rule" that gives a veto to every country.
We expect that the General Assembly will then act on the recommendations from this special committee, adopting by the year 2010 specific steps leading toward the elimination of nuclear weapons by 2020.
Meanwhile, we hereby declare the 369 days from today until August 9, 2006, a "Year of Inheritance, Awakening and Commitment." During this Year, the Mayors for Peace, working with nations, NGOs and the vast majority of the world's people, will launch a great diversity of campaigns for nuclear weapons abolition in numerous cities throughout the world.
We expect the Japanese government to respect the voice of the world's cities and work energetically in the First Committee and the General Assembly to ensure that the abolition of nuclear weapons is achieved by the will of the majority. Furthermore, we request that the Japanese government provide the warm, humanitarian support appropriate to the needs of all the aging hibakusha, including those living abroad and those exposed in areas affected by the black rain.
On this, the sixtieth anniversary of the atomic bombing, we seek to comfort the souls of all its victims by declaring that we humbly reaffirm our responsibility never to "repeat the evil."
"Please rest peacefully; for we will not repeat the evil."
Radiation, heat, blast and their synergetic effects created a hell on Earth. Sixty-one years later, the number of nations enamored of evil and enslaved by nuclear weapons is increasing. The human family stands at a crossroads. Will all nations be enslaved? Or will all nations be liberated? This choice poses another question. Is it acceptable for cities, and especially the innocent children who live in them, to be targeted by nuclear weapons?
The answer is crystal clear, and the past sixty-one years have shown us the path to liberation.
From a hell in which no one could have blamed them for choosing death, the hibakusha set forth toward life and the future. Living with injuries and illnesses eating away at body and mind, they have spoken persistently about their experiences. Refusing to bow before discrimination, slander, and scorn, they have warned continuously that "no one else should ever suffer as we did." Their voices, picked up by people of conscience the world over, are becoming a powerful mass chorus.
The keynote is, "The only role for nuclear weapons is to be abolished." And yet, the world's political leaders continue to ignore these voices. The International Court of Justice advisory opinion handed down ten years ago, born of the creative action of global civil society, should have been a highly effective tool for enlightening and guiding them toward the truth.
The Court found that "...the threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law," and went on to declare, "There exists an obligation to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all its aspects under strict and effective international control."
If the nuclear-weapon states had taken the lead and sought in good faith to fulfill this obligation, nuclear weapons would have been abolished already. Unfortunately, during the past ten years, most nations and most people have failed to confront this obligation head-on. Regretting that we have not done more, the City of Hiroshima, along with Mayors for Peace, whose member cities have increased to 1,403, is launching Phase II of our 2020 Vision Campaign. This phase includes the Good Faith Challenge, a campaign to promote the good-faith negotiations for nuclear disarmament called for in the ICJ advisory opinion, and a Cities Are Not Targets project demanding that nuclear-weapon states stop targeting cities for nuclear attack.
Nuclear weapons are illegal, immoral weapons designed to obliterate cities. Our goals are to reveal the delusions behind "nuclear deterrence theory" and the "nuclear umbrella," which hold cities hostage, and to protect, from a legal and moral standpoint, our citizens' right to life.
Taking the lead in this effort is the US Conference of Mayors, representing 1,139 American cities. At its national meeting this past June, the USCM adopted a resolution demanding that all nuclear-weapon states, including the United States, immediately cease all targeting of cities with nuclear weapons.
Cities and citizens of the world have a duty to release the lost sheep from the spell and liberate the world from nuclear weapons. The time has come for all of us to awaken and arise with a will that can penetrate rock and a passion that burns like fire.
I call on the Japanese government to advocate for the hibakusha and all citizens by conducting a global campaign that will forcefully insist that the nuclear-weapon states "negotiate in good faith for nuclear disarmament." To that end, I demand that the government respect the Peace Constitution of which we should be proud. I further request more generous, people-oriented assistance appropriate to the actual situations of the aging hibakusha, including those living overseas and those exposed in "black rain areas."
To console the many victims whose names remain unknown, this year for the first time we added the words, "Many Unknown" to the ledger of victims' names placed in the cenotaph. We humbly pray for the peaceful repose of the souls of all atomic bomb victims and a future of peace and harmony for the human family.
【１】 57年前、「この世の終り」を経験した被爆者、それ故に「他(ほか)の誰(だれ)にもこんな思いをさせてはならない」と現世の平和を願い活動してきた被爆者にとって、再び辛(つら)く暑い夏が巡ってきました。 Another hot, agonizing summer has arrived for our hibakusha who, fifty-seven years ago, experienced "the end of the world," and, consequently, have worked tirelessly to bring peace to this world because "we cannot allow anyone else to go through that experience."
【２】 一つには、暑さと共に当時の悲惨な記憶が蘇(よみがえ)るからです。 One reason for their agony, of course, is the annual reliving of that terrible tragedy.
【３】 それ以上に辛(つら)いのは、その記憶が世界的に薄れつつあるからです。 実体験を持たない大多数の世界市民にとっては、原爆の恐ろしさを想像することさえ難しい上に、ジョン・ハーシーの『ヒロシマ』やジョナサン・シェルの『地球の運命』さえも忘れられつつあります。その結果、「忘れられた歴史は繰り返す」という言葉通り、核戦争の危険性や核兵器の使用される可能性が高まっています。 In some ways more painful is the fact that their experience appears to be fading from the collective memory of humankind. Having never experienced an atomic bombing, the vast majority around the world can only vaguely imagine such horror, and these days, John Hersey's Hiroshima and Jonathan Schell's The Fate of the Earth are all but forgotten. As predicted by the saying, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it," the probability that nuclear weapons will be used and the danger of nuclear war are increasing.
【４】 その傾向は、昨年9月11日のアメリカ市民に対するテロ攻撃以後、特に顕著になりました。被爆者が訴えて来た「憎しみと暴力、報復の連鎖」を断ち切る和解の道は忘れ去られ、「今に見ていろ」そして「俺の方が強いんだぞ」が世界の哲学になりつつあります。そしてアフガニスタンや中東、さらにインドやパキスタン等、世界の紛争地でその犠牲になるのは圧倒的に女性・子供・老人等、弱い立場の人たちです。 Since the terrorist attack against the American people on September 11 last year, the danger has become more striking. The path of reconciliation--severing chains of hatred, violence and retaliation --so long advocated by the survivors has been abandoned. Today, the prevailing philosophy seems to be "I'll show you" and "I'm stronger than you are." In Afghanistan and the Middle East, in India and Pakistan, and wherever violent conflict erupts, the victims of this philosophy are overwhelmingly women, children, the elderly, and those least able to defend themselves.
【５】 ケネディ大統領は、地球の未来のためには、全(すべ)ての人がお互いを愛する必要はない、必要なのはお互いの違いに寛容であることだと述べました。その枠組みの中で、人類共通の明るい未来を創(つく)るために、どんなに小さくても良いから協力を始めることが「和解」の意味なのです。 President Kennedy said, "World peace...does not require that each man love his neighbor--it requires only that they live together with mutual tolerance...." Within this framework of tolerance, we must all begin cooperating in any small way possible to build a common, brighter future for the human family. This is the meaning of reconciliation.
【６】 また「和解」の心は過去を「裁く」ことにはありません。人類の過ちを素直に受け止め、その過ちを繰り返さずに、未来を創(つく)ることにあります。 そのためにも、誠実に過去の事実を知り理解することが大切です。だからこそ私たちは、世界の大学で「広島・長崎講座」を開設しようとしているのです。 The spirit of reconciliation is not concerned with judging the past. Rather, it open-mindedly accepts human error and works toward preventing such errors in the future. To that end, conscientious exploration and understanding of the past is vital, which is precisely why we are working to establish the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Peace Study Course in colleges and universities around the world.
【７】 広島が目指す「万人のための故郷(ふるさと)」には豊かな記憶の森があり、その森から流れ出る和解と人道の川には理性と良心そして共感の船が行き交い、やがて希望と未来の海に到達します。 In the "spiritual home for all people" that Hiroshima is building grows an abundant Forest of Memory, and the River of Reconciliation and Humanity flowing from that forest is plied by Reason, Conscience and Compassion, ships that ultimately sail to the Sea of Hope and the Future.
【８】 その森と川に触れて貰(もら)うためにも、ブッシュ大統領に広島・長崎を訪れること、人類としての記憶を呼び覚まし、核兵器が人類に何をもたらすのかを自らの目で確認することを強く求めます。 I strongly urge President Bush to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki to walk through that forest and ride that river. I beg him to encounter this human legacy and confirm with his own eyes what nuclear weapons hold in store for us all.
【９】 アメリカ政府は、「パックス・アメリカーナ」を押し付けたり世界の運命を決定する権利を与えられている訳ではありません。「人類を絶滅させる権限をあなたに与えてはいない」と主張する権利を私たち世界の市民が持っているからです。 The United States government has no right to force Pax Americana on the rest of us, or to unilaterally determine the fate of the world. On the contrary, we, the people of the world, have the right to demand "no annihilation without representation."
【１０】 日本国憲法第99条は「天皇又は摂政及び国務大臣、国会議員、裁判官その他の公務員は、この憲法を尊重し擁護する義務を負ふ」と規定しています。 この規定に従うべき日本国政府の役割は、まず我が国を「他(ほか)の全(すべ)ての国と同じように」戦争のできる、「普通の国」にしないことです。 すなわち、核兵器の絶対否定と戦争の放棄です。その上で、政府は広島・長崎の記憶と声そして祈りを世界、特にアメリカ合衆国に伝え、明日の子どもたちのために戦争を未然に防ぐ責任を有します。 Article 99 of the Japanese Constitution stipulates that "The Emperor or the Regent as well as Ministers of State, members of the Diet, judges, and all other public officials have the obligation to respect and uphold this Constitution." The proper role of the Japanese government, under this provision, is to avoid making Japan a "normal country" capable of making war "like all the other nations." The government is bound to reject nuclear weapons absolutely and to renounce war. Furthermore, the national government has a responsibility to convey the memories, voices, and prayers of Hiroshima and Nagasaki throughout the world, especially to the United States, and, for the sake of tomorrow's children, to prevent war.
【１１】 その第一歩は、謙虚に世界の被爆者の声に耳を傾けることから始まります。 特に海外に住む被爆者が、安心して平和のメッセージを世界に伝え続けられるよう、全(すべ)ての被爆者援護のための施策をさらに充実すべきです。 The first step is to listen humbly to the hibakusha of the world. Assistance to all hibakusha, in particular to those dwelling overseas, must be enhanced to allow them to continue, in full security, to communicate their message of peace.
【１２】 本日、私たち広島市民は改めて57年前を想(おも)い起し、人類共有の記憶を貴び「平和と人道の世紀」を創造するため、あらん限り努力することを誓い、全(すべ)ての原爆犠牲者の御霊(みたま)に心から哀悼の誠を捧(ささ)げます。 Today, in recalling the events of 57 years ago, we, the people of Hiroshima, honor this collective human memory, vow to do our utmost to create a "century of peace and humanity," and offer our sincere prayers for the peaceful repose of all the atomic bomb victims.
広島市長 秋葉忠利 Tadatoshi Akiba Mayor The City of Hiroshima