October 2011 Ethical Hero – Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba

Published: October 12, 2011

By Jim Lichtman
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Former Mayor of Hiroshima Tadatoshi Akiba is one of the most prominent leaders in the campaign to abolish nuclear weapons. During his three terms as Mayor from 1999 to 2011, he served as President of Mayors for Peace and oversaw its expansion from 440 members to nearly 5,000, uniting mayors in more than 100 countries for the launch of its 2020 Vision Campaign to escalate pressure on governments to abolish all nuclear weapons by 2020.

Earlier in his career, Mayor Akiba was a mathematics professor before serving in the Japanese House of Representatives for nine years. While teaching at Tufts University in 1979, he created the Hibakusha Travel Grant Program inviting international journalists to Hiroshima and Nagasaki to hear from the hibakusha (survivors) and help the world understand the realities of the atomic bombings. He has received numerous awards for his international peace work including the Ramon Magsaysay Award (also known as the Asian Nobel Prize).

Read Mayor Akiba’s acceptance speech.

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