NEW YORK – The mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki met with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday to hand over about 210,000 signatures of citizens calling for negotiations on a treaty to ban nuclear weapons.
The signatures were collected over the past year by Mayors of Peace in 6,000 cities all over the world, including the two cities the United States A-bombed during the war in August 1945.
During the meeting at U.N. headquarters in New York, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui and Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue also made a written request for Ban to play a leading role in giving birth to the nuclear ban treaty at an early date.
In the request, Matsui and Taue stressed nuclear weapons are “the ultimate inhumane weapons and an absolute evil.”
“Hiroshima and Nagasaki were reduced to ruins, in both cases by a single atomic bomb, and more than 210,000 people from the two cities lost their precious lives,” the mayors said. “Even today, many A-bomb survivors still struggle with radiation aftereffects.”
According to Matsui, Ban said municipal governments play extremely important roles in tackling nuclear problems. In response, the Hiroshima mayor expressed hope that the U.N. chief will ask leaders of member countries to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
“If lawmakers of each country visit A-bombed sites and think of the importance of lives beyond state boundaries, people’s determination to abolish nuclear weapons would be strengthened,” Matsui said.