By Patrick J. Killen
TOKYO Aug. 7 (UPI) -- Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba says the dangers of nuclear war have increased sincethe Sept. 11 attack on New York and that the United States has no right to force Pax Americana on the world.
Speaking on Aug. 6 at a ceremony to mark the 57th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of his city, Akiba urged U.S. President George W. Bush to visit Hiroshima and "confirm with his own eyes what nuclear weapons hold in store for us all."
Akiba said in part:
"As predicted by the saying, 'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it," the probability that nuclear weapons will be used and the danger of nuclear war are increasing.
"Since the terrorist attack against the American people on Sept. 11 last year, the danger has become more striking. The path of reconciliation -- severing chains of hatred, violence and retaliation -- so long advocated by the (atomic bomb) survivors, has been abandoned. Today, the prevailing philosophy seems to be 'I'll show you' and "I'm stronger than you are.'
"In Afghanistan and the Middle East, in India and Pakistan, and wherever violent conflicts erupts, the victims of this philosophy are overwhelmingly women, children, the elderly and those least able to defend themselves.
"President (John F.) Kennedy said, 'World peace ... does not require that each man love his neighbor --- it requires only that they live together with mutual tolerance.'"
"I strongly urgent President Bush to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki (the second city hit by an atomic bomb) to walk through that forest and ride that river. I beg him to encounter this human legacy and confirm with his own eyes what nuclear weapons hold in store for us all.
"The United States government has no right to force Pax Americana on the rest of us, or to unilaterally determine the fate of the world. On the contrary, we, the people of the world, haven't granted the United States the right to annihilate human beings."
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who attended the ceremony, pledged that Japan would continue its three nonnuclear principles of not producing, not possessing and not allowing nuclear arms on Japanese soil.
The 50-minute ceremony, held at Peace Memorial Park, included a minute of silence at 8:15 a.m. the exact time in 1945 that the U.S. B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped the first atomic bomb. Hiroshima says 140,000 people died from the blast by the end of 1945, and the ensuing deaths blamed on the bomb now total 226,870.
After the Aug. 9 bombing of Nagasaki, Japan surrendered to end World War II.