CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo travels to Japan for Peace Memorial ceremonies in Hiroshima and Nagasaki
11 August 2017
From 5-9 August, CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo was in Japan to participate in the Peace Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima and the Peace Memorial Ceremony in Nagasaki. During this visit to Japan, Dr Zerbo also held several meetings in Tokyo, including with Foreign Minister Taro Kono and members of the House of Councilors. Zerbo also held a press conference at the Japanese News Press Club (JNPC). On 5 August, Dr Zerbo received a Special Honorary Citizenship from the City of Hiroshima for his initiatives to “preserve, disseminate and convey” the reality of atomic bombings, and his leadership efforts—including through the activities of the GEM [CTBTO Group of Eminent Persons]—to promote the message of Hiroshima and the Hibakusha. The presentation ceremony of the title of Hiroshima City Special Honorary Citizen was held at Hiroshima City Hall, Japan, on 5 August 2017 and presided by the Mayor of Hiroshima, Kazumi Matsui. Mayor Matsui presented Dr Zerbo with a certificate and medal of Hiroshima City Special Honorary Citizenship. Zerbo underlined the symbolism of this distinction taking place on the eve of the Hiroshima tragedy commemoration, encouraging his counterparts to double the efforts in their quest for peace.
When I say “Hiroshima”, I hear “never again” should nuclear weapons be used. When I say “Hiroshima”, I also hear “together we can make a difference
Peace Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima
A day after the Hiroshima City Special Honorary Citizenship Ceremony, on 6 August, Zerbo participated in the Peace Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima. Seventy-two years ago, on 6 August 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima which destroyed the city and caused numerous civilian casualties on the day and in the ensuing months. Three days later, on 9 august 1945, a second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Numerous atomic bomb survivors, the Hibakusha, still suffer from the after effects to this day. As Dr Zerbo noted on his visit to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the deeply-moving testimonies of the Hibakusha renews our purpose and strengthens our resolve to advance a common goal of a world free of nuclear weapons. It is important to continue to ensure that the voices of the Hibakusha will be heard and their message carried forward by the younger generations.
Meetings and Press Conference in Tokyo During this visit to Japan, Dr Zerbo also held several meetings in Tokyo, including with Foreign Minister Taro Kono and members of the House of Councillors. Whilst in Tokyo, on 7 August, Dr Zerbo also held a press conference at the Japanese News Press Club (JNPC). Watch the press conference here:
Over the years, I have met many Hibakusha…Their stories have always moved me deeply and I am impressed by their dedication and resilience.
Peace Memorial Ceremony in Nagasaki
On 9 August, the Executive Secretary participated in the Peace Memorial Ceremony in Nagasaki. Seventy-two years ago, on 9 August 1945, a second atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki. The CTBTO is striving to put in place an effective international legal and technical tool that contributes to global efforts in preventing the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki from ever happening again. The banning of nuclear testing is the most tangible measure that would lead to the end of the nuclear arms race, and serve as one of the key elements of a legal framework for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.
Working translation from Japanese: Together to advance the progress of nuclear disarmament
- (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan)
Working translation from Japanese: Meeting between Minister Taro Kono and CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo
- Hiroshima Peace Media Center)
Working translation from Japanese: Dr. Zerbo, Special Honorary Citizenship Awarded by City of Hiroshima, Executive Secretary of CTBTO
- Ville d’Hiroshima au Japon: Dr Lassina Zerbo, Citoyen d’honneur (Le Pays)
- Taro Kono starts well as Japan's Foreign Minister (The Japan News)