At present, humanity stands at the crossroads of whether to save our blue planet with all living things on it as it is or to go along the road of self-destruction.
The two atomic bombs dropped on August 6th and 9th 1945 by the U.S. forces totally destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in an instant, and killed and wounded hundreds of thousands of people without discrimination. With corpses charred black, bodies with their skins peeled off and with lines of people tottering in silence, a hell on earth emerged. Those who narrowly survived soon collapsed one after another. For more than 70 years since then we have struggled to live on, afflicted by the delayed effects and by anxiety about the possible effects of radiation on our children and grandchildren. Never again do we want such tragedies to be repeated.
After 11 years of silence following the A-bomb suffering, Hibakusha assembled in Nagasaki in August 1956 and founded Nihon Hidankyo, the Japan Confederation of A-and H-bomb Sufferers Organizations. There we pledged that we would work to “save humanity from its crisis through the lessons learned from our experiences, while at the same time saving ourselves”. Since then we have continued appealing to the world that “there should never be another Hibakusha.” This is the cry of our soul.
Wars and conflicts are still going on in the world, and many lives of innocent people are lost. Nuclear weapons are being used to threaten others. There are also moves to develop new nuclear weapons. The destructive power of existing nuclear weapons, which number well over 10 thousand, amounts to that of tens of thousands of Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs combined. Nuclear weapons are the “weapons of the devil”. They could wipe out the human race and all other creatures. They could destroy the environment and turn the globe into a dead planet.
Human beings have prohibited the use, development, production and possession of biological and chemical weapons by treaties and protocols. Why do we hesitate to prohibit nuclear weapons, which are far more destructive than these weapons? We, the Hibakusha, call on all State Governments to conclude a treaty to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons.
The average age of the Hibakusha now exceeds 80. It is our strong desire to achieve a nuclear weapon-free world in our lifetime, so that succeeding generations of people will not see hell on earth ever again. You, your families and relatives, or any other people should not be made Hibakusha again. We believe that your signatures appended to this appeal will add up to the voices of hundreds of millions of people around the world and move international politics. They will finally save the future of our blue planet and all life on it. We earnestly appeal to you to append your signature to this petition.
Initial Proposers of the Appeal
- Sunao Tsuboi, Sumiteru Taniguchi and Mikiso Iwasa, Co-Chairpersons, Hidankyo (Japan Confederation of A-and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations)
- Terumi Tanaka, Secretary General, Hidankyo
- Kwak Kwi Hoon, Honorary Chairman, Korean Association of Atomic Bomb Victims
- Tsukasa Mukai, President, US Association of Atomic Bomb Victims
- Takashi Morita, President, Associacao Hibakusha Brasil Pela Paz
- Setsuko Thurlow, Hibakusha of Hiroshima, Toronto, Canada
- Yasuaki Yamashita, Hibakusha of Nagasaki, Mexico City, Mexico