As a representative of the citizens of Nagasaki, I send this message to you on the occasion of International Peace & Humanity Day 2023.
I extend my deep respect and gratitude to San Diego-WISH, the organizers of this event, for sharing the experiences of atomic bombings with people outside of Japan, and for your continued efforts towards deepening mutual understanding in order to create a society of mutual respect and acceptance.
At 11:02 a.m. on August 9, 1945, the city of Nagasaki was instantly destroyed by a single atomic bomb. That bomb took 74,000 precious lives and injured 75,000 others.
Ever since, the survivors of the calamity and the citizens of Nagasaki have continued to call for “a world without nuclear weapons” so that no one else ever has to experience such tragedy.
However, looking at our world today, in the face of a prolonged war in Ukraine there is heightened risk of nuclear weapon deployment. There is deepening chaos in international discussions on nuclear weapons. The only way to protect the world and humankind from the threat of nuclear weapons is nuclear disarmament. In order to achieve a nuclear-weapons-free world, we must continue to pass the baton of peace and harmony from atomic bomb survivors and war victims to future generations. It’s important that we combine our efforts even more than before and make our voices heard in speaking out against nuclear weapons and war, which can trigger atomic catastrophe.
I believe International Peace & Humanity Day 2023 provides a great opportunity to have many people to reflect on what they can do for world peace and take a step toward action.
In closing, may today’s event organizers and everyone in attendance enjoy good health and happiness.
Mayor of Nagasaki
August 5, 2023