Warm greetings from Nagasaki. My name is TAUE Tomihisa, Mayor of Nagasaki and also the Vice-President of Mayors for Peace.
On behalf of the citizens of Nagasaki, I would like to extend the message to the IPB and NGOs, unions, community groups and citizens.
At 11:02 a.m. on August 9, 1945, Nagasaki was devastated by a single atomic bomb. More than 74,000 precious lives were lost, and a further 75,000 were injured. Even today, those who narrowly survived carry deep mental and physical scars that will never heal and continue to suffer from aftereffects due to radiation exposure.
The hibakusha, those who have experienced the terror of nuclear weapons firsthand, have continued to relay their painful experiences and appeal for the abolition of nuclear weapons to ensure that no one else in the world ever experiences the tragedy of an atomic bombing. However, it has been 75 years since the atomic bombings and the number of individuals who can recount their experiences dwindles with each passing year. An age where there are no more hibakusha closes in upon us every second.
His Holiness Pope Francis stated: “…A world without nuclear weapons is possible and necessary.” Last November during a visit to Nagasaki, His Holiness gave this strong and explicit message to the world at the hypocenter 500 meters above which the bomb detonated. His Holiness also stated that everyone needs to participate in order to realize a world without nuclear weapons.
Fueled by Pope Francis’s words, we civil citizens must band together and continue to raise our voices to realize the abolition of nuclear weapons as soon as possible. Everyone’s individual and invaluable efforts can become a tremendous driving force that will lead us to peace.
Through “件名” , held for the first time in the year we mark the 75th year anniversary the atomic bombing, I hope that you will share in our wish for peace and call out for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
Mayor of Nagasaki