30 July 2022

Message on the 77th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

When the world is slowly emerging from the crises caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic, the on-going war in Ukraine, which started on 24 February 2022, has plunged the world into greater humanitarian and economic sufferings that far exceed the other crises of 2020 and 2021. The war has led to severe and widespread shortage in food, energy supplies and other daily necessities, not to mention the unfathomable human sufferings in the combat zones. The Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has even said that Russia would use nuclear weapons if its very existence were threatened. In response, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has been stressing the importance of its nuclear weapons.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Yearbook 2022, published on 13 June 2022, all nine nuclear-armed countries are increasing or upgrading their nuclear arsenals, clearly indicating the end of the global reductions of nuclear arsenals since the end of the Cold War. As of January 2022, Russia had 5,977 nuclear warheads and the United States 5,428. Together, both countries possess approximately 90 per cent of all the estimated 12,705 nuclear warheads worldwide. The data provided by the Federation of American Scientists reveal that, as of 23 February 2022, China had 350 nuclear warheads, France 290, the United Kingdom 225, Pakistan 165, India 160, Israel 90, and North Korea 20. These numbers of nuclear warheads are frightening, indeed.

Since the invention of nuclear weapons, only two nuclear warheads have been used against targets in war. An atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945 and the other one was dropped on Nagasaki three days later. According to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to ban such weapons completely, the two atomic bombings caused an estimated 140,000 deaths in Hiroshima and 74,000 deaths in Nagasaki by the end of 1945, but years or even decades later side-effects from the nuclear radiation have caused chronic diseases among those who survived in 1945. These survivors have to suffer from leukemic as well as breast, lung and other cancers. Pregnant women exposed to the bombings have experienced higher rates of miscarriage and deaths among their infants. Their children were more likely to have intellectual disabilities, impaired growth and an increased risk of developing cancer. If merely two atomic bombings have caused such devastating effects, tens or hundreds of nuclear warheads would surely bring the world to complete ruins and make it uninhabitable. Would any person of sound mind be willing to even risk using a nuclear weapon against a target where her or his family and loved ones are present?

The Sata Foundation uses as our logo the head of the statue of the Madonna of the Urakami Church in Nagasaki, which was totally destroyed when the atomic bomb exploded some 500 metres away, as a symbol against weapons of mass destruction with indiscriminate effects on those not taking part in the war. It is also a symbol for humanitarianism, for a world living in peace with the proper use of science and technology as well as for the allocation of scarce resources for the betterment of humankind. We plead for world peace, mutual compassion and understanding among peoples of whatever nationality, race, religion or ethnicity. The Sata Foundation, for our part, has been pursuing our humanitarian and peace mission as best as we can within our resources.

On Saturday 30 July 2022, the Sata Foundation organizes the 17th edition of the Run for Peace Rally, held annually since 2005 except for 2020 due to COVID-19, in Chailly, Burgundy, France, with several hundred participating cyclists. Bernard Hinault and Francesco Moser are the co-sponsors of this event comprising three courses along the roads of Auxois, in Côte d’Or. The Rally not only pays tribute to the victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and alerts humankind to the peril of nuclear weapons, it also raises funds for the Sata Foundation’s mission and donates two euros per registration to the victims of the 2011 tsunami, which particularly affected the Tohoku region in Japan. Please visit the Run for Peace Rally’s website at: https://sportsnconnect.lequipe.fr/calendrier-evenements/view/109/cyclosportive-courir-pour-la-paix.

Let’s join together to make our world a much better and more caring place to live in. Your kind support for the Sata Foundation would be greatly appreciated.

Yasuhiko Sata
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Sata Foundation

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