Hiroshima and Nagasaki mayors rap U.S. nuclear weapons policy

Hiroshima Mayor Akiba Tadatoshi

Hiroshima Mayor Akiba Tadatoshi denounced the U.S. nuclear weapons policy at the memorial ceremony for the victims of the atom-bombing of Hiroshima on August 6.

Presenting the Peace Declaration on the 58th anniversary of the atomic bombing, Akiba particularly criticized the U.S. Bush administration for openly declaring the possibility of a preemptive nuclear first strike and calling for resumed research into mini-nukes and other so-called "usable" nuclear weapons. He warned, "the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is on the verge of collapse."

The mayor condemned not only nuclear weapons but also the rule of power as shown in the U.S. war on Iraq. He said that the darkness of the rule of power will have to be overcome by the rule of law.

The Peace Declaration stated, "In New York in 2005, the 60th year after the atomic bombing, we will lobby national delegates for the start of negotiations at the United Nations on a universal Nuclear Weapons Convention providing for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons."

In the ceremony, a list of the names of 5,050 hibakusha who died in the past year was encased in the A-bomb cenotaph. This makes the deaths from the A-bomb in Hiroshima City 231,920 in all.

Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro attended the ceremony and spoke, but refused to meet with hibakusha after the ceremony, just as he did last year.

Nagasaki Mayor Ito Iccho

About 6,300 people, including A-bomb survivors, attended Nagasaki City's memorial ceremony on August 9 to mark the 58th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city.

Delivering a peace declaration at the ceremony, Nagasaki Mayor Ito Iccho denounced the United States for pursuing a strategy that includes possible use of nuclear weapons.

He criticized the U.S. and British governments for unilaterally invading Iraq without a U.N. resolution on the grounds that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction had to be eliminated. Referring to U.S. development of smaller and usable nuclear weapons and its resumption of nuclear test explosions, Ito warned against the U.S. plan to use nuclear weapons.
The mayor demanded that as the government of the only A-bombed country, the Japanese government stand in the forefront of the movement for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

The mayor also urged the government to firmly maintain the "exclusively defensive" defense policy, and make the Three Non-nuclear Principles (not to possess, manufacture, or allow nuclear weapons to be brought into Japan) a law.

He called for a joint declaration on a non-nuclear Korean Peninsula and the establishment of a Nuclear-Weapon Free Northeast Asia in accordance with the Japan-North Korea Pyongyang Declaration.

It was reported in the ceremony that in the past year, 2,692 citizens died due to aftereffects of the atom-bomb, which makes the number of deaths from the atom-bomb on Nagasaki 131,885 in total. A list of the dead was encased in the A-bomb cenotaph. (end)

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