14 July 2023

Message on the 78th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

 The G7 Summit this year was held in Hiroshima, Japan, to highlight the horrors of nuclear war. The G7 Hiroshima Leaders’ Communiqué issued on 20 May 2023 expresses the commitment to achieving a world without nuclear weapons with undiminished security for all, through taking a realistic, pragmatic, and responsible approach. It reaffirms the importance of disarmament and non-proliferation efforts to create a more stable and safer world.

 Words must be translated into action. The 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, in force since 22 January 2021, has 68 parties. But none of the countries in possession of nuclear weapons is a party to this Treaty. Japan, the only country in the world which has been a victim of nuclear weapon attacks, is not a party to this Treaty, either.

 According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Yearbook 2023, published on 12 June 2023, SIPRI estimates there were 12,512 nuclear warheads in January 2023, with about 9,576 in military stockpiles for potential use—86 more than in January 2022. Of those, an estimated 3,844 warheads were deployed with missiles and aircraft, and about 2,000—nearly all of them from Russia or the United States—maintained in a state of high operational alert, meaning that they were fitted to missiles or held at airbases hosting nuclear bombers. SIPRI notes that despite China’s increasing nuclear stockpile, the United States and Russia together possess almost 90% of the world’s nuclear weapons.

 Our world still faces the risk of nuclear wars. The war between Russia and Ukraine has been going on non-stop since 24 February 2022, continuing to cause unfathomable human sufferings in combat zones and severe and widespread shortage in food, energy supplies and other daily necessities all over the world. Russia has now deployed tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, which will be used if Russia's territory or state is threatened.

 The unfathomable sufferings to victims of the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945 and Nagasaki three days later have so far served to deter nations possessing nuclear weapons from using these weapons for whatever purpose. As part of the global campaigns against nuclear weapons, the Sata Foundation’s logo shows 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 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. Once again, we plead for world peace, mutual compassion and understanding among peoples of whatever nationality, race, religion or ethnicity.

 On Saturday 29 July 2023, the Sata Foundation organizes the 18th edition of the Run for Peace Rally, held annually since 2005 except for 2020 due to COVID-19, in Chailly-sur-Armançon, France’s Burgundy, with several hundred participating cyclists expected. 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 pays tribute to the victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and alerts humankind to the peril of nuclear weapons, as well as expresses support for the innocent victims of the war in Ukraine. It also raises funds for the Sata Foundation’s mission and donates two € 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://www.courirpourlapaix.com/

 With a view to enhancing the “understanding among peoples of all cultures, religions and beliefs of the value of peace and respect for universally recognized human rights”, which is part of the Sata Foundation's Mission Statement, since March 2023, the Sata Foundation Oxford ICJ Fellowship Award is given each year to support the living expenses in The Hague, Netherlands, of the candidate from the University of Oxford in the UK who is chosen by the International Court of Justice to work there for nearly one year. For more information, please visit: https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/2023-2024-icj-judicial-fellows-programme

Your kind support for the Sata Foundation is always much appreciated.

Yasuhiko Sata
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Sata Foundation

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