• Kyodo

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Mayors and other representatives of about 100 cities in 30 countries who gathered Sunday at the fifth World Conference of Mayors for Peace through Intercity Solidarity adopted a plan to further promote education about the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The plan includes offering educational classes and holding exhibitions on the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at universities in the member cities.

The six-day conference, which began two days before Hiroshima marks the 56th anniversary of its atomic bombing, will move to Nagasaki today and continue until Thursday, the anniversary of the atomic bombing there.

At the conference here, participants discussed the roles of municipal governments in creating peace in the new century and explored ways to form networks among themselves to eliminate nuclear weapons and help prevent armed conflict around the world.

During Sunday’s discussion, a representative from the city of Napier, New Zealand, proposed that the participants should try to increase the number of nonnuclear cities, adding that by doing so, they will be able influence their central governments to move toward nonnuclear policy.

A representative from Iran said that the member cities should set “weapons-of-mass-destruction-free areas.”

U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan also has sent a message to the conference. “Let us renew our solemn vow never to repeat that tragedy,” he wrote, referring to the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings.

Antinuke convention

HIROSHIMA (Kyodo) A Japanese antinuclear organization has begun a convention in Hiroshima marking the 56th anniversary of the city’s atomic bombing.

Participants in the Japan Congress Against A- and H-Bombs (Gensuikin) convention, which opened here Saturday, discussed ways to rid the world of nuclear weapons and change countries’ nuclear power policies. The convention will resume in Nagasaki on Tuesday before wrapping up Thursday.

“Japan should not follow the policy of the U.S. President George Bush’s administration, and should make efforts to bring the U.S. back to the table of international cooperation,” Satsuki Eda, a lawmaker from the largest opposition Democratic Party of Japan, told the meeting.

On Sunday, Gensuikin held a series of events aimed at having children study the atomic bombing experiences of the two cities, including a visit to sites associated with the Hiroshima bombing, organizers said.

Shigetoshi Iwamatsu, head of the executive committee of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki convention, told the opening ceremony Saturday that participants must unite to create a century free of nuclear weapons with high hopes and determination, despite a U.S. missile defense plan that is against the global trend of nuclear elimination.

The antinuclear group has close ties with the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan, the Social Democratic Party and the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo), Japan’s largest labor organization.

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