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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 November 30 - December 6  > Pugwash Japan holds symposium on a world without nuclear weapons
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2016 November 30 - December 6 [PEACE]

Pugwash Japan holds symposium on a world without nuclear weapons

November 30, 2016
A Japanese anti-nuclear, antiwar group of scientists, Pugwash Japan, on November 27 held a symposium under the theme, “Nuclear weapons-free world and deterrence theory”, on the sidelines of the group’s annual general assembly.

In the symposium, panelist Takubo Masafumi, who operates the Kakujoho (Nuclear Information) website, criticized the successive Japanese governments for supporting the first-use of nuclear weapons.

Takubo cited the fact that Prime Minister Abe Shinzo objected to U.S. President Obama’s move to abandon the longstanding government policy of using nuclear weapons first. Furthermore, Takubo referred to a remark that former Prime Minister Aso Taro (currently Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister in the Abe Cabinet) in 2009 made in the Diet. Aso proclaimed that Japan needs to rely on nuclear deterrence in order to maintain its security.

Takubo stressed, “The need is to change the government’s stance which is very supportive of the preemptive use of nuclear arms. Only by doing so can we open up the possibility of realizing a Nuclear Weapons Convention and establishing nuclear-free zones. We have to strengthen public opposition to pressure the government to reverse its stance.”

Kyodo News senior editor Ota Masakatsu reported that when a no-first-use declaration was discussed within the U.S. government, a Japanese government official tried to put a stop to the discussion by saying, “Please think carefully about the impact on U.S. allies presently under its nuclear umbrella.” Ota said, “The Obama administration decided not to heed the declaration, but this eventually brought about the danger of multiplying the risks that President-elect Trump may take.”

Past related articles:
> PM Abe is totally obsessed with nuclear deterrence [August 18, 2016]
> PM Abe voices objection to America’s ‘no first use’ nuclear weapons policy [August 17, 2016]
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