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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 February 14 - 20  > Archbishop & A-bomb hospital honorary director in Nagasaki: deterrence is false peace
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2018 February 14 - 20 TOP3 [PEACE]

Archbishop & A-bomb hospital honorary director in Nagasaki: deterrence is false peace

February 18 & 19, 2018

The Archbishop of the Nagasaki Archdiocese and the honorary director of Japan Red Cross Nagasaki Atomic-bomb Survivors Hospital had a public open conversation on February 17 in the city of Nagasaki, on the theme of roles that civil society are taking to realize the elimination of nuclear weapons.

The audience filling the hall intently listened to the two speakers appealing for a nuclear-free world. A Nagasaki Hibakusha in the audience said it is encouraging for all the Hibakusha and Nagasaki citizens to know that a top bishop is leading a no-nukes campaign.

Archbishop Takami Mitsuaki in the conversation with honorary director Tomonaga Masao said, "The policy of armed deterrence offers only a false peace."

Takami touched upon the Japanese government position which assesses the UN treaty banning nuclear weapons, adopted in July last year with the support of 122 countries, as "unrealistic" and turns its back on the aim of total abolition. He said that humans must turn the no-war vision into "reality".

The Archbishop said that cooperation among different religion groups in Nagasaki is increasing with the common demand for no-war, no-nukes, adding, "We appreciate each other across all faiths, and get together on August 9 every year to remember the victims of the atomic bombing and pray for world peace. I believe this is the very step that we, religious leaders, can take together to support the moves forward toward peace."

Tomonaga, the A-bomb hospital honorary director, regarding the U.S. Trump administration's new Nuclear Posture Review said, "The only force of resistance against nuclear expansion is an alliance consisting of the countries endorsing the UN N-ban treaty, international anti-nukes NGOs, and global citizens. In addition, civil society of the only atomic-bombed country should play a leading role focusing on the Hibakusha-led signature-collection drive."

Tomonaga called on the audience, in particular young people, to think of the N-ban treaty as an opportunity to increase efforts to establish a world without nuclear weapons.

Dampening the Nagasaki citizens' anti-nukes momentum, the Japanese government maintains its negative stance on nuclear disarmament.

Last October, a Japanese civil group demanded that the government translate the treaty's text into Japanese, claiming that translated versions in languages of even nuclear-weapons states are publicly available based on Article 20 of the UN nuclear ban treaty, "The Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts of this Treaty shall be equally authentic." The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, however, rejected the request by stating that Japan is not a signatory to the accord.

Past related article:
> Pope calls photo of Nagasaki A-bomb victim ‘fruit of war’ [January 18, 2018]
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