9 August, 2018
Message on the 73rd Anniversary of the Atomic Bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima
My last year’s message on the 72nd Anniversary of the Atomic Bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima hailed the conclusion of the first-ever Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, open for signature on 20 September 2017. To date, 59 countries have signed the Treaty, 11 of which have ratified and become parties to the Treaty. Once the Treaty is accepted by the requisite 50 parties, it will come into force among its parties which will no longer be able to develop, test, manufacture, or possess nuclear weapons, or threaten to use them, or allow any nuclear weapons to be stationed on their territory. Nuclear weapons will become, officially, illegal under international law. None of the countries currently in possession of nuclear weapons are signatories or parties to the Treaty, unfortunately. Neither are the countries (including Japan and the Republic of Korea) living under “nuclear umbrellas” under the “nuclear deterrence” theory, whereby nuclear weapons in possession of their respective allies serve to deter any potential armed attacks, including nuclear attacks, against them.
The Summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un in June 2018 has been praised as a landmark for world peace—with the prospect of nuclear disarmament in the Korean Peninsula looking most promising after several decades of fears of a possible nuclear war waged by or against North Korea. It also bears testimony to the lack of any justification to acquire and maintain extremely expensive nuclear arsenals when the people in the countries with nuclear weapons continue to starve, lack adequate healthcare, and have their human rights ignored.
Since the Sata Foundation’s vision is for the total elimination of nuclear weapons, we praise every effort to accomplish this goal, hoping that the approximately 15,000 nuclear war heads now in stockpiles across the globe will be demolished or de-commissioned very soon. Please remember the unfathomable sufferings of the civilians of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan who were victims of the world’s only actual nuclear bombings. Just look at the Sata Foundation’s logo which depicts a picture of the head of the statue of the Madonna of the Urakami Church in Nagasaki that was totally destroyed when the atomic bomb exploded some 500 metres away on 9 August 1945. The Madonna of Nagasaki is a powerful symbol for humanitarianism – for a world living in peace, without nuclear weapons, but with the proper use of science and technology as well as the allocation of scarce resources for the betterment of humankind.
This year, UNESCO has listed among the world’s cultural heritage the hidden Christian sites in the Nagasaki region, located in the northwestern part of Kyushu island and whose 12 components consist of ten villages, Hara Castle and a cathedral, built between the 16th and 19th centuries, reflecting the earliest activities of Christian missionaries and settlers in Japan. These sites are recognized by UNESCO as unique testimony to a cultural tradition nurtured by hidden Christians in the Nagasaki region who secretly transmitted their faith during the period of prohibition from the 17th to the 19th century. The statue of the Madonna of Nagasaki, found in the same Nagasaki region as the aforesaid hidden Christian sites, may not be a “site”, but over 21,500 persons have agreed that this Madonna deserves the same kind of international recognition as the Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome), which has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage since 1996, and as any other worldly objects so recognized by UNESCO.
The Sata Foundation will continue to pursue our humanitarian and peace mission. As one of the events to support world peace, our annual Bicycle Race for Peace in Chailly-sur-Armançon, France, to commemorate the 73rd anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (www.courirpourlapaix.com) was held on Saturday 28 July 2018, with, as in the past 13 years, approximately 400 cyclists taking part. Proceeds from the Bike Race for Peace go to support the Sata Foundation’s mission.
Your kind support for the Sata Foundation would be much appreciated.
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