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Activity History

History 2020 - 2011

Visit to Geneva, Switzerland in conjunction with the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 NPT Review Conference
(April 2013)

Mayors for Peace delegation was dispatched in conjunction with the holding of the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee for the NPT Review Conference in Geneva, Switzerland. Along with appealing the inhumanity of nuclear weapons and the necessity of measures towards the early realization of a nuclear weapons convention to officials from various countries through the speech at the NGO Session, a collection of signatures for a nuclear weapons convention and a nuclear-weapon-free world by 2020 was presented to Chair H.E. Cornel Feruta.

In meeting with many different individuals and asking for their assistance towards the early realization of nuclear weapons abolition, we were able to hear and exchange many opinions regarding measures to improve the function of executive cities and the administrative structure in preparation for the holding of the 8th General Conference of Mayors for Peace in Hiroshima this August.

Mayor of Hiroshima’s visitation schedule: April 20-26, 2013

Mayor of Nagasaki’s visitation schedule: April 20-27, 2013

April 22
Participation in the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee for the NPT Review Conference

Under the lead of Chair H.E. Cornel Feruta, a greeting was given by Ms. Angela Kane, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs for the United Nations, where she appealed that each country must take action in line with the decision at the 2010 NPT Review Conference in regards to the NPT goals of nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear disarmament, and the peaceful use of nuclear power.

In addition, it was decided that the Third Session of the Preparatory Committee for the conference will be held from April 28 – May 9, 2014 in New York, and the 2015 NPT Review Conference will be held from April 27 – May 22, 2015 in New York as well.

Participation in the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee for the NPT Review Conference
Meeting with H.E. Mr. Mari Amano, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament

During a meeting with H.E. Mr. Mari Amano, we stated that we believe the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki share a common understanding with the Japanese government regarding the inhumanity of nuclear weapons, and called on the Japanese government to endorse the “Joint Statement on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons”, which the South African government and others plan to announce.

Along with praising the fact that the number of member cities in Mayors for Peace continues to rise, Ambassador Amano stated that the Japanese government shares the orientation of aiming for a world without nuclear weapons with the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and would like to work together towards promoting any collaborative measures.

Mayor Matsui requested of Director-General Tokayev that the United Nations spread the message that nuclear weapons are an absolute evil to the national leaders, under the belief that as long as countries continue to suspect each other, nuclear weapons will not be eliminated. Furthermore, he presented a request letter addressed to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for measures towards the early realization of a nuclear weapons convention. In response to Mayor Matsui’s statement that he would like to keep cooperating and sharing a common sense of values with the United Nations and keep carrying out various activities, Director-General Tokayev stated that he would like to continue supporting the activities of Mayors for Peace and lending his cooperation.

Meeting with H.E. Mr. Mari Amano, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament
Meeting with Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, and presentation of the Mayors for Peace request letter

The meeting with Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Director-General of the UN Office at Geneva, was the second one after that at the opening ceremony for the A-bomb permanent exhibition. Director-General Tokayev stated that the United Nations and the two cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are aiming for the same goal, and it is incredibly important to have these kinds of repeated meetings. While showing apprehension about the recent movements of North Korea, he also mentioned that it is important to work together to promote measures towards a world without nuclear weapons.

Mayor Matsui requested of Director-General Tokayev that the United Nations spread the message that nuclear weapons are an absolute evil to the national leaders, under the belief that as long as countries continue to suspect each other, nuclear weapons will not be eliminated. Furthermore, he presented a request letter addressed to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for measures towards the early realization of a nuclear weapons convention. In response to Mayor Matsui’s statement that he would like to keep cooperating and sharing a common sense of values with the United Nations and keep carrying out various activities, Director-General Tokayev stated that he would like to continue supporting the activities of Mayors for Peace and lending his cooperation.

Meeting with Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, and presentation of the Mayors for Peace request letter
April 23
Observing the International Security Forum

Mayors for Peace representatives attended the subcommittee meeting titled “The stance on nuclear disarmament” by the International Security Forum. At the forum, Mr. Gareth Evans, former Foreign Minister of Australia, Mr. Jayantha Dhanapala, former United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, and Mr. Desmond Browne, former UK Defence Secretary, gave speeches, stating that the support of civil society is essential towards realizing the 2010 NPT Review Conference Action Plan, which has not seen any concrete progress so far.

At the question-and-answer session, Chairman Komizo of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation stated that rather than continuing to depend on the current unstable security system based in mutual distrust, it is necessary to share the feeling of the atomic bomb survivors that “no one should ever have to suffer like we did” and create a security system based on a feeling of brotherhood, and for this, we must create a sense of community from a global perspective.

Meeting with Ambassador Fred Tanner, Director of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy

Given the fact that the movement focusing on the inhumanity of nuclear weapons is accelerating, Director Tanner expressed his hopes for future developments, but on the other hand expressed his concerns that no nuclear powers participated in the International Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons held this March in Oslo, stating that it is important to think about how to involve civil society in this process from now on. Along with highly praising the activities of Mayors for Peace, which has reached over 5,500 member cities, he expressed his hopes for using the strong network among mayors to carry out an important role on the political front.

Meeting with Ambassador Fred Tanner, Director of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy
Meeting with Ms. Christine Beerli, Vice-President of the ICRC

Vice-President Beerli at the outset stated that there exists a strong historical bond between Hiroshima and the ICRC which originated from the work of Dr. Marcel Junod, and that the movement highlighting the inhumanity of nuclear weapons in recent years was set off by a powerful statement by the President of the ICRC in 2010.

Mayor Matsui, along with expressing his respect for the work of Dr. Junod and the ICRC, gave a word of gratitude from the site of the atomic bombing towards the President and other ICRC officials’ playing an important role in appealing the inhumanity of nuclear weapons. Furthermore, he gave the example of the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant as evidence that no matter how much we try, it is not quite possible to strictly control nuclear technology so that it may be used peacefully, and called for Vice-president Beerli to spread the message to the world that nuclear weapons are an absolute evil that cannot be allowed to exist in this world. In addition, along with speaking about the necessity of strengthening the connection between Mayors for Peace and the ICRC, he appealed for the necessity of the ICRC’s increasing its pressure on the United Nations and various related international agencies.

Ms. Beerli stated that there are many common terms between the ICRC and Mayors for Peace, such as recognition of the effect of nuclear weapons usage and the goal of striving for the abolition of nuclear weapons, and that she would like to deepen the cooperative relationship substantially through specific projects.

Meeting with Ms. Christine Beerli, Vice-President of the ICRC
Meetings with various government officials

Along with meeting with the Director of the Office of Multilateral Nuclear and Security Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, and government officials from Australia, the Philippines, Belgium, Turkey, and Malaysia, and hearing explanations of each of the countries’ measures towards nuclear disarmament, we called for cooperation towards the activities of Mayors for Peace and for measures aiming for the early realization of a nuclear weapons convention.

Meeting with the Director of the Office of Multilateral Nuclear and Security Affairs of the U.S. Department of State

(Meeting with the Director of the Office of Multilateral Nuclear and Security Affairs of the U.S. Department of State)

Meeting with the Australian Ambassador for Disarmament

(Meeting with the Australian Ambassador for Disarmament)

Meeting with the Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations

(Meeting with the Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations)

Meeting with the Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Department of Belgium

(Meeting with the Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Department of Belgium)

Meeting with the Turkish Director of the International Security Department

(Meeting with the Turkish Director of the International Security Department)

Meeting with Councillors from the Malaysian Diplomatic Mission

(Meeting with Councillors from the Malaysian Diplomatic Mission)

Exchange of opinions and information regarding the administrative structure of Mayors for Peace

In preparation for proposal at the General Conference of Mayors for Peace in August, an exchange of opinions was held regarding improvement of the administrative structure of Mayors for Peace, reaching an agreement on the below points.

1.Payment of Mayors for Peace membership fees (yearly 2,000 yen/city)
2.Promotion of regionalization of member cities (selecting lead cities and establishing branches)
3.Distribution and raising of seeds from A-bombed trees and sharing and passing down the Flame of Peace in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

Exchange of opinions and information regarding the administrative structure of Mayors for Peace
April 24
Participation in the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee for the NPT Review Conference (NGO Session)

Mayor Matsui made a speech at the NGO Session and strongly appealed that nuclear weapons are the epitome of weapons against humanity and an absolute evil, quoting a verse from last year’s Peace Declaration. Furthermore, along with calling for international society to lend an ear to and share the heartfelt desire of the atomic bomb survivors that “no one should ever have to suffer like we did”, and act with us, he appealed for the necessity of putting in effort together into replacing the unstable current security system based on suspicion and mutual distrust with one based in a feeling of brotherhood. Based on this, he called for government representatives to take leadership towards the commencement of negotiations towards a nuclear weapons convention.

Participation in the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee for the NPT Review Conference (NGO Session)
General Meeting of the 2020 Vision Campaign Association

Along with approving the report on the accounts and activities of the association for the 2012 Fiscal Year, we exchanged opinions regarding the future action plans, etc. of the 2020 Vision Campaign.

General Meeting of the 2020 Vision Campaign Association
Meeting with Ms. Angela Kane – United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs

In a meeting with Ms. Angela Kane, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs for the United Nations, we called on her to strengthen appeals to various governments and international agencies amidst the movement to draw attention to the inhumanity of nuclear weapons and illegalize them. Furthermore, we appealed the necessity of establishing a new security system based on a feeling of trust and brotherhood, centered around the United Nations.

Ms. Kane touched upon the point that the Japanese government did not approve the Joint Statement on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, and stated that while she understands that various discussions are going on in Japan regarding this, she hopes that discussion will turn in what we believe is the correct direction.

Meeting with Ms. Angela Kane – United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs
Urgent meeting with H.E. Mr. Mari Amano, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament

After the Japanese government refused to approve the Joint Statement on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons, Mayor Matsui held an urgent meeting along with the Mayor of Nagasaki with H.E. Mr. Mari Amano, inquiring about the circumstances and reasons for the arrival at this conclusion, as well as stating our deep regret that the government did not approve the Joint Statement, which greatly overlaps with the wishes of the atomic bombed cities. The mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki stated that as mayors of atomic bombed cities, they cannot definitively accept this decision, and expressed their doubts of the Japanese government’s response. Furthermore, they called for the Japanese government to continue upholding its connection with the countries that proposed this statement and others in the future.

Ambassador Amano explained that the portion of the statement that says “It is in the interest of the very survival of humanity that nuclear weapons are never used again under any circumstances” is not necessarily in conformity with Japan’s security policy, and that negotiations were carried out until right before the decision date, but in the end, time ran out and the statement was not approved, while explaining that on the other hand, there are many points that the government can lend its endorsement of, such as the influence of nuclear weapons on society and economy, and the fear of their influence on future generations. In opposition to this, Mayor Matsui argued that the Japanese government must create a vision and take leadership as government of the only atomic-bombed country.

Friendly meeting with people relevant to Mayors for Peace held by Mr. Rémy Pagani, Mayor of Geneva, and presentation of the citizen-signed petition calling for the commencement of negotiations towards a nuclear weapons convention to the chair of the preparatory committee

At the friendly meeting with people relevant to Mayors for Peace held by Mayor Pagani, in addition to calling for everyone to share the wish for peace together with the over 5,500 member cities of Mayors for Peace, and to join forces towards the realization of nuclear weapons abolition and everlasting world peace with a focus on the future, Mayor Matsui called for the participation of as many people as possible at the General Conference in Hiroshima in August.

Furthermore, a certificate representing the reception of a citizen-signed petition and part of a collection of over 260,000 names and signatures for the commencement of negotiations towards a nuclear weapons convention were presented to H.E. Cornel Feruta, Chair of the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 NPT Review Conference, calling for efforts towards the early realization of this convention. Chair Feruta, along with praising the activities of Mayors for Peace, stated that he would like to carry out his duties as Chair while holding the thoughts behind this petition in his heart.

Friendly meeting with people relevant to Mayors for Peace held by Mr. Rémy Pagani, Mayor of Geneva, and presentation of the citizen-signed petition calling for the commencement of negotiations towards a nuclear weapons convention to the chair of the preparatory committee
April 25
Participation in a workshop held by Peace Depot

Mayor Matsui participated in the NGO Peace Depot’s workshop “The Future of Peace Regime and NWFZ in Northeast Asia – The 60th Anniversary of Korean War Armistice”, and gave a speech. In the speech, he stated that we would like to have many people see the reality of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and to feel for themselves the reality that nuclear weapons are the epitome of weapons against humanity and an absolute evil, along with appealing for policymakers, in particular, to lend an ear to the earnest wishes of the atomic bomb survivors and take action towards a world free from nuclear weapons. Furthermore, he called for citizens and NGOs around the world to join efforts towards the illegalization of nuclear weapons.

Participation in a workshop held by Peace Depot

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