Secretary General Komizo’s Visit to the US
(Participation in the 2019 Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference, etc.)
In March 2019, Mr. Yasuyoshi Komizo, Secretary General of Mayors for Peace, visited California where he met with mayors/officials of US member cities and asked them to take the initiative to build peace, keep cities safe and resilient, and support the US Lead City, Des Moines, Iowa. Mr. Komizo also met with local NGO representatives to discuss future collaboration on Mayors for Peace activities in the US.
Following his stay in California, he visited Washington, D.C., and participated as a speaker in the 2019 International Nuclear Policy Conference hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He joined the panel discussion “Proliferation Prognostication: Predicting the Nuclear Future”.
Mr. Komizo’s trip to the US: March 5 (Tue.) to March 14 (Thu.), 2019
March 5 (Tuesday)
Lunch with Consul General of Japan in San Francisco
Mr. Komizo met with Mr. Tomoya Uyama, Consul General of Japan in San Francisco. Mr. Komizo briefed Mr. Uyama about the work of Mayors for Peace as a global nonpartisan network of mayors, including its efforts to promote the cause of legally prohibiting nuclear weapons. Mr. Komizo also took the opportunity to introduce Mr. Uyama to Mayors for Peace’s two key objectives: “Realization of a world without nuclear weapons” and “Realization of safe and resilient cities”. We believe that these objectives will lead us to our ultimate goal of lasting world peace, while giving due respect to the different political and social environments of various countries and regions. Mr. Komizo expressed his hope that US member cities, led by the US Lead City, Des Moines, Iowa, will engage in proactive activities efforts to achieve these objectives. Mr. Uyama then told Mr. Komizo about recent local efforts in San Francisco for nuclear disarmament and key figures in this field.
Meeting with Dr. Scott Sagan of Stanford University
Mr. Komizo met with Dr. Scott D. Sagan, the Caroline S.G. Munro Professor of Political Science and a Senior Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University. Dr. Sagan briefed Mr. Komizo about the public survey he recently conducted, pointing out somewhat concerning results showing a lack of correct awareness of the facts among Americans on nuclear issues. For example, more than half of Americans are in favor of the use of nuclear weapons on Iran and also believe that the US is able to destroy North Korea’s nuclear facilities in one strike.
Mr. Komizo introduced Dr. Sagan to the work of Mayors for Peace and the two objectives Mayors for Peace is working for: “Realization of a world without nuclear weapons” and “Realization of safe and resilient cities”. He mentioned that Mayor Cownie of Des Moines, Iowa, is leading the 215 member cities of the US Chapter and expressed his hope that further expansion of Mayors for Peace activities in the US will contribute to fostering public opinion for nuclear weapons abolition.
March 6 (Wednesday)
Meeting with Mayor of Oakland
Mr. Komizo had a meeting with Mayor Libby Schaaf of Oakland, a member of Mayors for Peace, where he gave her an outline of Mayors for Peace and referred to its recently added objective, “Realization of safe and resilient cities”, and some of its initiatives, including the donation of second-generation A-bomb trees and the children’s art competition. Mr. Komizo shared his hope with Mayor Schaaf that the City of Oakland could also become involved in these initiatives.
Mayor Schaaf commented that as a mayor she gives riority to ensuring citizens' safety and expressed her support for Mayors for Peace efforts to expand its membership.
Attendance at gathering hosted by local peace groups
Mr. Komizo was invited to speak at an evening peace event co-sponsored by the Western Institute for Social Research and Western States Legal Foundation. The event began with the presentation of a message from the Mayor of Berkeley. The message highlighted Berkeley’s efforts to seek a world without nuclear weapons even after the end of the Cold War, including its declaration as a Nuclear Free Zone and joining the Mayors for Peace network, based on reflection on its history during WWII in which scientists at the University of California in Berkeley were involved in the Manhattan Project.
Mr. Komizo talked about the mission and values of Mayors for Peace, the hibakusha’s ardent desires for nuclear abolition, and how important it is for the human family to respect diversity and cooperate with each other in seeking our common goal of lasting world peace. He also discussed the important elements of the Mayors for Peace mission: dialogue, inclusiveness, and synergy. His passionate message was very well received by the audience with a standing ovation.
March 7 (Thursday)
Meeting with the former Governor of California
Mr. Komizo met with Mr. Jerry Brown, a former Governor of California who currently serves as the Executive Chair of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. During the meeting, Mr. Komizo referred to the fact that the number of its member cities is increasing as public awareness about the growing dangers of nuclear war is rapidly expanding because mayors feel a strong sense of responsibility to guarantee the safety and welfare of their citizens. He said that civil society’s active engagement on security issues will contribute to fostering mutual understanding on a grass root level and help turn the confrontational security environment into one of cooperative security.
Mr. Brown talked about his recent activities, including a peace project he is working on as a member of a global peace NGO and his frequent exchanges with officials of peace research institutes.
Mr. Komizo shared the efforts of Mayors for Peace to keep close contacts with people who can influence policymakers as part of our efforts to nurture a collaborative international environment that encourages world leaders to take decisive steps towards a world without nuclear weapons.
Meeting with San Francisco city official
Mr. Komizo met with Mr. Edward McCaffrey, Manager of State and Federal Office of the Mayor of San Francisco, a member of Mayors for Peace. Mr. Komizo expressed his hope that San Francisco will take on a leading role among the member cities on the west coast and asked the City for cooperation in various Mayors for Peace projects are promoting including the donation of second-generation A-bomb trees, our children’s art competition, Hiroshima-Nagasaki Peace Study Courses, and hosting interns from member cities.
Mr. McCaffrey said that he would report to the Mayor of San Francisco about their meeting and that he would try to work with cities that San Francisco is closely linked with, such as Oakland and Los Angeles, to seek possibilities of further promoting Mayors for Peace initiatives.
March 8 (Friday)
Meeting with Mayor of Los Angeles
Mr. Komizo had a meeting with Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, a member of Mayors for Peace, where he introduced the outline and specific projects of Mayors for Peace, whose initiatives are being spearheaded in the United States by the Mayor of Des Moines, Iowa, as the Lead City for 215 US member cities. Mr. Komizo pointed out that Mayors for Peace recently adopted an objective: “Realization of safe and resilient cities”, which is in line with the United Nation’s SDG goals. Mayor Garcetti mentioned that Los Angeles is addressing environmental and other challenges as a leader in achieving the SDGs in the US. He also expressed his enthusiasm for supporting Mayors for Peace’s project to disseminate second-generation A-bombed trees to member cities around the world.
Lecture hosted by PSR Los Angeles
Mr. Komizo was invited to an event organized with the support of Ms. Denise Duffield, Associate Director of the Los Angeles chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), where he talked to 30 people, including representatives of local NGOs, members of the American Society of Hiroshima-Nagasaki A-Bomb Survivors (ASA), and local students.
Mr. Komizo mentioned that, while the path towards the realization of world peace may not be a smooth one, he felt very encouraged by confirming a common commitment to peace with everyone present and expressed his wish for collaboration. The audience included around 10 students from local high schools and universities, whom Mr. Komizo invited to participate in projects and events by Mayors for Peace targeting young people, such as the Mayors for Peace Youth Forum.
March 9 (Saturday)
Meeting with Mayor of Santa Barbara and President of Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
Mr. Komizo was invited to a luncheon meeting hosted by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF), where he met Mayor Cathy Murillo of Santa Barbara and members of NAPF including its President, Dr. David Krieger. Mr. Komizo asked for Santa Barbara’s active engagement in Mayors for Peace initiatives together with its nearby cities such as San Francisco, Oakland, and Los Angeles, and with the US Lead City Des Moines, Iowa.
Mayor Murillo shared her city’s efforts to reduce economic disparity to improve the quality of life of its citizens and expressed her hope to strengthen collaboration with NAPF and Mayors for Peace to work on environmental and peace issues.
March 11 (Monday)
Attendance at the 2019 International Nuclear Policy Conference
Mr. Komizo attended the first day of the 2019 International Nuclear Policy Conference hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Over 800 experts and officials from over 45 countries and international organizations attended. This conference is organized semi-annually to provide an update on the current global state of affairs relating to nuclear weapons and energy issues.
March 12 (Tuesday)
Panel discussion: “Proliferation Prognostication: Predicting the Nuclear Future” in the 2019 International Nuclear Policy Conference
On the conference’s second day, Mr. Komizo was invited to speak on a panel entitled, “Proliferation Prognostication: Predicting the Nuclear Future”, in which he discussed a range of pressing nuclear issues including the cases of Iran, the DPRK, and the US/Russian relationship with three other panelists and a moderator.
Mr. Komizo shared with the audience the fervent wish of the hibakusha, that no one else shall ever again suffer as they have, pointing out that their message shares a core value with the US Declaration of Independence, that all men are created equal and endowed with certain unalienable rights, and that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. He also introduced the philosophy and activities of Mayors for Peace to realize the fervent wish of hibakusha through fostering dialogue based on mutual respect and understanding without prejudice. After the session, Mr. Komizo was approached by a number of participants, expressing their interest in visiting Hiroshima.