At the end of last year, the year that marked the 75th anniversary of the dropping of atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Hastings Borough Council agreed to write to the present day mayors of both cities to show “solidarity and friendship”.
It was Councillor Maya Evans who asked councillors to mark the significant milestone for the two cities by writing the letters: “We recognise the horrors of war for everyone unfortunate enough to be caught up in one, witnessing and experiencing violence which undoubtably scar people for life, both mentally and physically. Many of the homeless people on our streets bravely served in British wars, while refugees from those very same wars now flee for their lives and end up on our shores in Hastings. There are many victims of war,” she added.
The letters, signed by HBC leader Councillor Kim Forward, were sent to Tomihisa Taue, Mayor of Nagasaki and to Kazumi Matsui Mayor of Hiroshima, the text of the letter is reproduced below…
“At a recent full council meeting here in Hastings, United Kingdom, a motion was passed that we should send a letter of solidarity and friendship to the municipal authorities of the two cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
“Our own town suffered considerable damage and loss of life in the second world war, but not on the scale of the loss you suffered. The estimated number of civilians killed by the two atomic bombs then is more than double the total population of our town now, which puts the scale of your loss into clear perspective.
“We recognise the horrors of war for everyone unfortunate enough to be caught up in one, witnessing and experiencing violence which undoubtably scar people for life, both mentally and physically. Indeed, this trauma can last beyond a lifetime, and impact on future generations.
“Therefore, although we are only a small town on the global stage, we can still reach out with other voices to promote peace and reconciliation by supporting a Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Treaty. We have called on our government to sign and ratify it, in the hope that it will prevent the kind of mass death and destruction that your two cities saw in 1945.”
So far there has been no response to either letter