Green MP Keith Locke is mourning the death of Nagasaki mayor, Iccho Ito, a long time campaigner for nuclear disarmament, who died this morning after being struck by an assassin’s bullet last night.
“Mayor Ito was one of the world’s leading peace campaigners,” Green Party Disarmament Spokesperson Mr Locke says.
“In November 2003 I was privileged to represent the Parliamentary Network for Nuclear Disarmament at an anti-nuclear conference hosted by Mayor Ito in Nagasaki.
“Growing up in Nagasaki, Mr Ito knew first hand the devastation caused by nuclear weapons – and was determined that it would never happen again.
“In the 1990s he supported New Zealand’s efforts at the International Court of Justice to have nuclear weapons declared illegal. Later, he was vice-president of one of the most vibrant international anti-nuclear organisations, the Mayors for Peace,” Mr Locke says.
A member of the Liberal Democratic Party, Mayor Ito was campaigning for a fourth term when he was assassinated. He was an active figure in the movement against nuclear proliferation, heading a coalition of Japanese cities calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons.
“Mayor Ito’s energy and enthusiasm has been an inspiration to the movement to rid the earth of nuclear weapons. He will be much missed.”