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2023年3月 5日 (日)

Ahmadiyya Muslim Peace Prize ――Acceptance Speech by Former Mayor Akiba――

Ahmadiyya Muslim Peace Prize

――Acceptance Speech by Former Mayor Akiba――

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His Holiness Hazrat, Mirza Masroor Ahmed, the worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Community conferring the prize on Dr. Tadatoshi Akiba

 

Ahmadiyya Muslim Peace Prize

Acceptance Speech

March 4, 2023

 

Tadatoshi Akiba, Former Mayor of Hiroshima

 

A Salam Alaikum! Your Holiness, members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, distinguished guests, fellow peace workers, and ladies and gentlemen:

With humility and fresh determination, I stand here today to participate in the Peace Symposium and accept the prize on behalf of the hibakusha, the atomic bomb survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and all peace workers of the world.

It has been a year since Russia invaded Ukraine and threatened the possible use of nuclear weapons, which President Putin repeated over the past year.  And when the hibakusha heard his words, this came to their mind: [Show the photo.] A Nagasaki boy thrown into the living hell caused by a small nuclear weapon.  We should not let this happen again anywhere, anytime, to anyone.

I know that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community felt the same way a year ago because you were one of the first in the world to recognize and protest nuclear weapons’ inhumanity and evilness back on August 10, 1945.  The second Kalif declared on that day that

“It is our religious and moral duty to proclaim to the whole world, that we do not consider lawful such bloodshed.”

Belatedly, the world finally came to the same conclusion when the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) took legal effect on January 22, 2021. 

Unfortunately, nuclear weapons and dependent states are adamantly opposed to the TPNW by pledging never to sign or ratify it.  They believe that the possession of and threat of use of nuclear weapons guarantee that no nuclear powers will use such weapons.

Their belief is just a fantasy. It is not the false deterrence paradigm that did the trick.  The hibakusha’s power deterred their use.  John Hersey, who wrote the inspiring book Hiroshima in 1946, confirmed this fact in 1985 during his second visit to Hiroshima.

Cities and mayors agree because they are the targets of nuclear weapons by any nuclear weapons state and were the victims of past wars.  That is why Mayors for Peace, an organization of mayors worldwide dedicated to peace and the abolition of nuclear weapons, with the Mayor of Hiroshima as its head, strongly advocates “Never again!” to war and nuclear weapons. 

We hope that Prime Minister Kishida, who represents Hiroshima and therefore should have internalized such voices of cities and hibakusha, will lead the May G7 Summit to persuade President Putin away from using nuclear weapons.  The success will accelerate the process of ending the war.

There are signs that Prime Minister Kishida and the other six leaders should aim higher: The G7 Hiroshima Declaration should be the starting point for the universal “No First Use” of nuclear weapons. 

One such sign is the G20 Bali Summit Declaration last November that affirmed, “The use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible.” All the G7 leaders lent their names to this.

Another comes from China and India: They have adhered to no-first-use policies since acquiring their nuclear weapons.

China recently released a twelve-point peace proposal on February 24, stating, among other things, “nuclear weapons must not be used and nuclear wars must not be fought.  The threat or use of nuclear weapons should be opposed.” 

Prime Minister Modi of India coined the phrase, “This era must not be of war,” which left its mark in the Bali Declaration.

If Japan, India, and China together can create a path to end the Russia/Ukraine war and spearhead global no-first-use and the eventual abolition of nuclear weapons, the world would more than welcome their heroic and historical status.

When more than 50,000 people died in a massive earthquake, and tens of thousands need help in Turkey and Syria, why are we wasting away precious human and material resources for war efforts instead of utilizing them for rescuing those people?

Words of Your Holiness give us direction: “regardless of its effect, we shall never give up our efforts to promote peace and justice certainly.  “              

Let me close by quoting another elder from Hiroshima: Sunao Tsuboi, a hibakusha leader who died two years ago:

“Never again, and never give up!”

 

最後に今日一日、皆さんにとって、素晴らしい24時間でありますよう!

 [2022/3/5 イライザ]

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