A message to Toronto by Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba

Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba has sent a special message to Toronto by video for the opening of an exhibition of photographs from Hiroshima and Nagasaki and drawings by atom bomb survivors that opens today inside Toronto City Hall at 5:30 and runs until August 11. The exhibition will be opened by the Hiroshima survivor Setsuko Thurlow. Phyllis Creighton is the MC. The Toronto
Hiroshima-Nagasaki commemoration will take place at the Toronto City Hall Peace Garden August 9 at 6:30 pm.


A MESSAGE TO TORONTO BY HIROSHIMA MAYOR TADATOSHI AKIBA:

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am more than happy to send this message to Toronto, an important ally in the struggle against nuclear weapons.

I am aware that Toronto holds a ceremony every year to commemorate Hiroshima Day, and I thank Mayor Miller, a Mayor for Peace, for his support in maintaining this tradition.

I want to thank Setsuko and James Thurlow who have been instrumental in the Toronto commemoration from the beginning. And I thank the people of Toronto for your ongoing support and concern.

Setsuko has been a vital presence for decades, one of the few A-bomb survivors with the ability and devotion to travel throughout Canada and the U.S. to communicate the horror of the atomic bombings and Hiroshima’s message that it must never happen again.

James has worked closely with Hiroshima since the 1970s to build and reinforce the relationship between Hiroshima and Toronto. He has spearheaded A-bomb exhibitions, essay contests and the transfer of our peace flame to your Peace Garden.

The Thurlows, the City of Toronto and many of you have been doing more than your duty but the danger is still with us. In fact, it is growing and unfortunately we need you now to work like never before.

I understand that you will soon be hearing my peace declaration for this year so I will not repeat that message here. Instead, let me get straight to my request:

Today, we will ask Mayor Miller to sign an appeal in support of the Hiroshima-Nagasaki protocol and I am asking all of you to sign our on-line petition. Please go to our website to learn the content and strategic importance of the Hiroshima-Nagasaki protocol. All I want to do now is to assure you that no public document is more important to your future.

The Hiroshima-Nagasaki protocol is the way a world leader can express his or her unequivocal commitment to a nuclear weapons-free world. It is our collective task now to demand that all our leaders make this commitment.

Nuclear weapons are cruel, inhumane and cannot be limited to the battlefield in either time or space. They are obviously illegal under the Geneva Conventions and they should have been banned decades ago. In addition, we face the immanent danger that the so-called “war on terror” will go nuclear.

It is time for the international community to take action. We face a critical moment. In the next two years, the human family will decide whether to eliminate nuclear weapons or to let them spread and be used. To ensure that we make the right decision, the people of this planet need to stand up and demand clearly and forcibly that our leaders liberate us from the threat of nuclear annihilation.

Please google “Mayors for Peace” and the “2020 Vision Campaign” to find our website and sign our online petition. Finally, please do everything you can to support our 2020 Vision Campaign. With your help, we can be rid of nuclear weapons by 2020 and bequeath to our children a safer and saner and more co-operative world. Thank you very much.

Tadatoshi Akiba
Mayor of Hiroshima
President, Mayors for Peace
http://www.mayorsforpeace.org/english/outlines/index.html

Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol:
http://www.mayorsforpeace.org/english/citiesappeal.pdf

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