I send this message to you as a representative of the citizens of Nagasaki on the occasion of the International Peace and Humanity Day 2022.
I extend my deep respect and gratitude to San Diego-WISH, the organizers of this event, for your continued efforts to promote peace and harmony among all people, cultures and nations. I commend you for your efforts toward expanding mutual understanding and respect among all people of diverse cultures, beliefs and values in order to create a society of mutual respect and acceptance.
Toward the end of World War II, on August 9, 1945, the city of Nagasaki suffered instant destruction from a single atomic bomb. There were 150,000 casualties. Those who managed to escape suffered lifelong emotional and physical aftereffects that continue to afflict our small group of survivors, even today, 77 years later. Those who lived through this calamity have shared their experiences, and with newer generations of Nagasaki residents, have continued to call for “a world without nuclear weapons.”
Unfortunately, in the global news, atrocities like the Russian invasion of Ukraine make us feel that the road to global nuclear disarmament is growing longer and more difficult. After years of feeling progress toward peace, the menace of nuclear weapons now feels nearer than it did a year ago, instead of further away.
The threat of military conflict in our global society appears to be growing. In order to put the brakes on current trends and switch gears toward nuclear disarmament, each person must act as a messenger of peace.
This is why we must continue sharing the memories and stories of the atomic bombing, which must never be allowed to happen again. Events like this International Peace and Humanity Day 2022 let survivors of the atomic bombing serve as a bridge to a more peaceful future. We can give people everywhere the opportunity to reflect together about what actions we can take to move the world towards disarmament and world peace.
I also learned that many high school volunteers of SD-WISH contributed to today’s event. I congratulate all of your continued efforts towards world effort.
The city of Nagasaki would like to continue on this path towards the elimination of nuclear weapons and everlasting world peace with all of you.
In closing, I extend my sincere wish that the International Peace and Humanity Day 2022 will be a great success, and that everyone here may enjoy good health and happiness.
Mayor of Nagasaki