Photo/Illutration Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui explains the outline of the peace declaration he will deliver on Aug. 6. He was speaking Aug. 1 at a news conference in the city government building in Hiroshima. (Tabito Fukutomi)

The mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki announced the outline of peace declarations they will deliver at peace memorial ceremonies in the days ahead to mark the 77th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of their cities.

“This year’s peace declaration is important in turning the tide of accepting the expansion of nuclear deterrence,” Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui said Aug. 1. “I will ask that every effort be made to realize a world without nuclear weapons.”

The declarations will reflect concerns over threats by Russia to use nuclear weapons in its war against Ukraine and call for nuclear arsenals to be abolished at the earliest opportunity.

Matsui said his declaration for the ceremony on Aug. 6 will incorporate the phrase, “Do not build your happiness on someone elses unhappiness,” in sending a message to Russia. The quote is widely attributed to Russian literary giant Leo Tolstoy.

He added that the declaration will also call on the central government to take part in the second meeting of signatory nations to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons next year.

Japan has not ratified the TPNW as it is protected under the U.S. nuclear umbrella. The country did not attend the first meeting in June, even as an observer.

Matsui said the declaration will call on the government to sign and ratify the treaty.

“Nuclear weapons must not be used,” said Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue as the first urgent message of the declaration he will deliver on Aug. 9.

Taue said his declaration refers to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference now under way in New York through Aug. 26.

It will call on the nuclear powers to demonstrate a path toward nuclear disarmament and urge the Japanese government to sign and ratify the TPNW, Taue added.

Over the decades, the two cities have relied on hibakusha atomic bomb survivors to deliver calls for abolishing nuclear weapons, but their numbers are fast dwindling.

The cities said they will urge people around the world to take on the role.

(This article was written by Tabito Fukutomi and Mami Okada.)