A summer day, a solitary bomb, a single instant; and Hiroshima was transformed into a raging inferno and a hell on earth.
Countless precious lives were tragically lost, and even those who somehow managed to survive have lived in constant fear of radioactivity's grim after effects.
Over the last 45 years, Hiroshima has risen from the agony of its bombing and, firm in the determination that the evil never be repeated, has constantly pressed for lasting world peace and called for the abolition of nuclear weapons and the renunciation of war. Today, Hiroshima's prayer has become the world's prayer.
The long history of distrust and discord is drawing to a close, and there are finally signs of a new era of trust and cooperation.
Long the symbol of East-West discord, even the Berlin Wall has come down, the Cold War structures are fated to end, the quest is on for a new world order of peace, and mankind is taking the first steps toward altering its history.
The leaders of United States and the Soviet Union concurred this June on the first real reduction ever in their nuclear arsenals, and agreement has been reached on negotiating further nuclear disarmament. Protocols have also been signed toward the abolition of chemical weapons and there is promise of an early agreement on reductions in conventional forces as well. Hiroshima has the highest regard for this tide of disarmament changing the fate of mankind from one of annihilation to one of survival. All of the nuclear powers should heed this global call and move immediately to ban all nuclear tests and to abolish nuclear weapons, and all countries everywhere should make greater efforts for total disarmament across the board.
In line with the relaxation of world tensions, it is incumbent upon the government of Japan, in keeping with the pacifist ideals underpinning its Constitution, to curtail military spending, to pass the three non-nuclear principles into law so as to prevent the mooting of these national tenets, and to take the initiative in making the Asia-Pacific region a nuclear-free zone of disarmament, as well as to undertake vigorous diplomatic efforts for the building of a world order of peace.
This March, the renovation of the Atomic Bomb Dome was completed with the generous contributions and the fervent wishes for peace from all over the world. Annual admissions to the Peace Memorial Museum topped 1.5 million last year. And the number of cities sympathizing with the Program to Promote the Solidarity of Cities towards the Total Abolition of Nuclear Weapons has grown to 287 cities in 50 countries worldwide. All of this is testimony to the depths of the popular longing for peace.
Today, we will host the 1990 Women's International Peace Symposium in Hiroshima with its vigorous discussions of what women can do to bring about peace and the abolition of nuclear weapons.
Hiroshima will continue to lay the grim realities of nuclear attack before the world, and we are promoting the establishment here of an international peace research institute to make the world more aware of the need for nuclear disarmament.
Hiroshima renews its appeal:
For an immediate and complete end to nuclear testing and the abolition of nuclear arms.
For the United States, the Soviet Union, and the other nuclear countries to reveal the full truth of the harm caused by their obstinate nuclear testing over the last forty-plus years and to promptly implement restitution measures for the environment and the people.
For the world leaders and those young people who will guide future generations to visit Hiroshima and to see for themselves the horror of nuclear war.
Hiroshima's heart also goes out to all of the oppressed people everywhere who are victims of starvation, poverty, the suppression of human rights, refugee status, regional conflicts, global environmental devastaion, and other problems, and we earnestly hope that the international community will cooperate for the earliest possible solution of these problems.
Today, in this Peace Memorial Ceremony to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, we express our heartfelt condolences to all of the victims of that bombing. We strongly appeal to the government of Japan to use the Survey of Atomic Bomb Victims in promptly instituting a systematic program of support for the hibakusha grounded upon the principle of national indemnification. At the same time, we earnestly hope that positive efforts will be made to promote support for those hibakusha resident on the Korean Peninsula, in the United States, and elsewhere, and we rededicate ourselves to the cause of peace.
Delivered by Takeshi Araki, Mayor of Hiroshima City
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