David Krieger, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF), will give the keynote address at an international peace symposium to be held in Hiroshima, Japan, on May 25. This event is organized by Chugoku Shimbun to commemorate the 5th Anniversary of the Hiroshima Peace Media Center. The symposium is entitled “Toward a Nuclear-Free World: Spreading Hiorshima’s Message.”
Mr. Krieger has been to Hiroshima on many occasions in the past. “This city is a special place, made sacred by the pain, suffering, forgiveness and perseverance of the survivors of the atomic bomb. I consider it an honor to be invited to speak here. I am truly humbled,” said Krieger.
He continued, “In my speech, entitled, ‘Hiroshima: City of Hope,’ I wish to tell the hibakusha (surviving victims of the atomic bombings) that their efforts and messages matter and that their words and deeds have touched people’s hearts throughout the world, including my own.”
Mr. Krieger’s keynote address at the symposium is one of many continuing efforts by The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation to build momentum throughout the world towards the abolition of nuclear weapons. According to Krieger, “It’s critically important that no other city or country will ever suffer the same experiences and devastation caused by nuclear weapons such as those used at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or the far more powerful weapons that exist today.”
While in Hiroshima, Mr. Krieger will meet with Tadatoshi Akiba, the former Mayor of Hiroshima and current Chairman of the Middle Powers Initiative (MPI). Through the MPI, eight international non-governmental organizations, including the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, are able to work with middle power governments to encourage the nuclear weapons states to take immediate, practical steps that reduce nuclear dangers, and commence negotiations to eliminate nuclear weapons.
Mr. Krieger will also meet with Ambassador Yasuyoshi Komizo, the new Director of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation. In a recent speech, Amabassador Komizo expressed his belief that a nuclear free world would require a new and reliable security framework based on a sense of community on a global scale and built upon mutual trust between people, replacing the current system of nuclear deterrence based on a reality of distrust and built upon the threat of nuclear weapons.
Mr. Krieger will stress that “The hibakusha have returned from that place of horror with hope in their hearts. By their willingness to forgive and by their constant efforts to end the nuclear weapons era, they have nurtured hope and kept it alive for all these years. It will soon be up to the next generations to carry on working for a world free of nuclear weapons in the spirit of the hibakusha.”
A transcript of Mr. Krieger’s speech can be found here.