A book comprising all Hiroshima peace declarations in English between 1947 and 2023 has hit shelves in the hope of spreading the city's message of eternal peace in a world without nuclear weapons.

The book, "Heiwa Sengen wo Eigo de Yomu (Read Peace Declaration in English)" was published in December by Teikyo University Press. It comes at a time of heightened nuclear risks, including North Korea's testing of a solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile, Iran's near weapons-grade uranium enrichment and Russia's deployment of nuclear weapons to Belarus, among other notable nuclear-related upticks.

Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui delivers a speech during a ceremony at the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 2023, marking the 78th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of the western Japan city. (Kyodo)

Mayors of the western Japan city, which suffered the world's first atomic bombing on Aug. 6, 1945, have been issuing the declaration on the anniversary, with the very first by Shinzo Hamai and Kazumi Matsui giving the latest.

"Letting the reality of the atomic blast be widely known is Hiroshima's heart and mind so that we can realize together a world without nuclear weapons," said Takashi Hiraoka, who served as the city's mayor from 1991 to 1998, in a statement upon the book's publication.

Readers of the book will take notice that the focus and tone of the declarations have changed with the times, while their burning desire for eternal peace and philosophy that using nuclear weapons would lead to the end of civilization and the extinction of humankind remain unchanged.

The book, containing more than 400 English-Japanese footnotes that explain difficult words and idioms, can serve as a great textbook to learn English and world peace for people aspiring to become "global citizens," the publisher said.

Teikyo University Chairman Yoshihito Okinaga said in the book he hopes it will provide a good opportunity for readers to think about "the preciousness of life, the blessings of peace, the stupidity of war, and the cruelty and inhumanity of nuclear weapons."

Photo taken on Dec. 28, 2023, shows copies of "Heiwa Sengen wo Eigo de Yomu (Read Peace Declaration in English)," a book comprising all peace declarations of Hiroshima delivered between 1947 and 2023 in English published by Teikyo University Press. (Kyodo)

The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki three days later are estimated to have left about 214,000 people dead by the end of that year.

The tradition of an annual peace declaration or a substitute speech began two years later. However, the outbreak of the Korean War prompted the cancellation of what was then known as the peace festival and the declaration in 1950.

The festival was renamed the Peace Memorial Ceremony in 1951, with the Japanese prime minister starting to attend the annual ceremony from 1971, according to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

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