9 August, 2016
For the 71st Anniversary of the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
On 27 May 2016, President Barack Obama became the first-ever President of the United States of America to visit a city attacked by nuclear bombs in August 1945. What is important is that the President of the only country which has used nuclear weapons in a war has called on the world to learn the lessons of the past to make war less likely. He urged humankind to choose "a future when Hiroshima and Nagasaki are not considered the dawn of atomic warfare but as the start of our own moral awakening”, adding that: “Technological progress without equivalent progress in human institutions can doom us. The scientific revolution that led to the splitting of the atom requires a moral revolution as well. ...." When Obama signed the Hiroshima museum's guest book before his speech, he expressed his hope that the world would "find the courage, together, to spread peace, and pursue a world without nuclear weapons."
I invite you to read my previous messages for the anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. You may be surprised to find that President Obama and I do share the same vision and goals. The only difference is that he has the means and authority to make them happen, while I can only exert my best efforts to try to convince fellow human-beings to join forces to put an end to nuclear weapons.
The world still has so many nuclear weapons in stockpiles and on the ready for launching against an "enemy nation". The 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), convened at the United Nations in New York, achieved no substantive progress in banning nuclear weapons. It may be recalled that the same kind of NPT Review Conference had been held in 2010, when the the head of the Madonna statue of the Urakami Cathedral situated at the epi-centre of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki was put on display then at the United Nations, the venue of the Conference, to remind humankind that no one and nothing, not even a sacred religious place of worship which must not be subject to a military attack, is safe from the indiscriminate destructive force of a nuclear weapon.
The Governments of several countries feel 'safe' with possessing nuclear weapons to "'deter" invasion and armed attacks by another country. Several other Governments rely on "nuclear umbrellas"' to protect them from threats of invasion and armed attacks by unfriendly countries. Against this background, nuclear weapons will continue to be with us, with government resources diverted to their sky-high costs of production, maintenance and upkeep, at the expense of more worthy causes such as eradication of poverty, provision of affordable healthcare, and alleviation of natural disasters. The Sata Foundation's mission aims at contributing, albeit modestly, to some of these worthy causes.
I hope you will join us in supporting the Sata Foundation's mission to secure a better and more humane world. Our logo, the head of the statue of the Madonna of Nagasaki, symbolizes the silent, desperate plea for world peace and for the use of science to better lives instead of harming them. I wish to reiterate that this statue is parallel in its symbolic significance to Picasso's world-famous painting Guernica and may even deserve the same international recognition as the Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome), which has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage since 1996. More than 20,000 persons seem to agree with me, as can be seen from the signatures appended to the petition on our website.
This year's annual Bike Race for Peace in Chailly-sur-Armançon, France, to commemorate the 71st anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (www.courirpourlapaix.com), was held on Saturday 30 July 2016, with, as in the past years, approximately 500 cyclists taking part. Proceeds from the Bike Race for Peace go to support the Sata Foundation’s mission. It was the 12th Run for Peace rally organized by the Sata Foundation, and its mission has become more important and meaningful, much more than what we imagined when we first started this unique Run for Peace rally with Bernard Hinault as our chief icon. We very much appreciate his continued strong support and involvement with the rally, which Bernard himself takes seriously. Once he told an interviewer the reason why the Madonna of Nagasaki had lost both eyes from the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki: she might not want to see this troubled world. We hope someday she will fully regain her eyesight -- when the world is a much better place to live in. Until then, we wish to continue our efforts to accomplish peace on this earth as much as we can.Your kind support for the Sata Foundation would be most appreciated.