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The following is mirrored from the Hiroshima Peace Site
The Prologue to this site states:
|The fate of the human race is in|
|your hands. I close with the hope|
|that God's wisdom, discernment,|
|and love of humankind will be in|
|you as you formulate a correct|
|decision with respect to the|
|problem of nuclear weapons.|
|(Key statments from the mayor of Hiroshima's deposition for the International Court of Justice)|
August 6, 2002
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."
One reason for their agony, of course, is the annual
reliving of that terrible tragedy.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
The City of Hiroshima