Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
Blog [Japanese]
HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 February 28 - March 6  > Bikini Day rally held in Shizuoka
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2018 February 28 - March 6 [PEACE]

Bikini Day rally held in Shizuoka

March 2, 2018
The Bikini Day rally took place in Yaizu City in Shizuoka Prefecture on March 1 with 1,800 antinuke activists, victims of U.S. H-bomb tests, and overseas delegates participating.

They adopted an appeal calling for the further promotion of the Hibakusha-led signature collection campaign for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

The participants included Oishi Matashichi and Ikeda Masaho, former crewmembers of the fishing boat Daigo Fukuryu Maru, which had been showered with radiation fallout from a U.S. H-bomb test explosion in the Pacific 64 years ago. Masumoto Kazuma, a former seaman in Kochi Prefecture who had also been exposed to the U.S. H-bomb radiation was also present.

Kawamoto Shiro, a Hiroshima atomic bomb survivor living in Shizuoka, said, "The nuclear weapons ban treaty was adopted last summer at the UN. We should take this historic opportunity for the realization of a world without nuclear weapons."

Brooke Takala from the South Pacific Islands of Marshall where the United States had repeatedly conducted nuclear weapons experiments criticized the U.S. for leaving the islanders to suffer from food shortages and illnesses and for neglecting to compensate for health damages. She asked for support, such as providing food and Geiger counters, to protect the residents' lives and livelihoods.

Nakano Hiromichi, the mayor of Yaizu City where Daigo Fukuryu Maru had ported gave remarks as a guest. Hiroshima City Mayor Matsui Kazumi, Nagasaki City Mayor Taue Tomihisa, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo, Liberal Party head Ozawa Ichiro, and Okinawa Whirlwind representative Itokazu Keiko, respectively, sent messages in solidarity with the Bikini Day rally.

* * *

The full text of Shii’s message is as follows:

On behalf of the Japanese Communist Party, I would like to send my sincere expression of solidarity to participants of the Bikini Day rally held to commemorate the 64th anniversary of the tragedy caused by a U.S. H-bomb test explosion.

On July 7 last year, with the support from 122 countries, a treaty banning nuclear weapons was adopted at the United Nations. This treaty offers the prospect of eradicating nuclear weapons by legally prohibiting and branding them as inhumane. It also shows us the quickest and most realistic way to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons. More than 50 countries have already signed the antinuke UN accord. It is absolutely necessary to have the treaty take effect as early as possible and increase the number of signatory countries.

In realizing this historic agreement, Japan’s antinuke peace movements led by survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki played quite a large role.

The Hydrogen bomb test which the U.S. carried out on March 1, 1954 at the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, caused serious damage to the people on the Marshall Islands and crewmembers of Japanese fishing boats including Daigo Fukuryu Maru (Lucky Dragon No.5), giving a rise to a nationwide signature-collection campaign to protest against the nuclear test in an unprecedentedly large scale. Under that situation, the movement against A- and H-bombs was born. Since the beginning, the movement has consistently called on the world to move toward the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

Hibakusha and antinuke citizens have tenaciously carried out their grassroots movements for over 60 years calling for a world without nuclear weapons. This effort has changed the world and resulted in the historic treaty. Having deep pride and confidence in this achievement, let us make a further advance.

As the adoption of the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty has created a new situation, the Hibakusha-led signature-collection campaign for the abolition of nuclear weapons is becoming more and more important. The need now is to work even harder to collect hundreds of millions of signatures globally in this campaign.

A handful of nuclear weapons states and their allies stick to adhering to the nuclear deterrence theory and oppose the UN antinuke treaty. The U.S. Trump administration in February published its Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) which clearly and provocatively signals a new nuclear arms race.

However, the nuclear deterrence theory is nothing but an idea that the threat to use nuclear weapons in the event of emergency can serve as a tool to maintain national security. In other words, under this idea, when an emergency arises, a country is allowed to cause a humanitarian catastrophe such as occurred in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Such a theory is unacceptable in the world today.

In particular, the government of Japan, the only A-bombed country, should be ashamed of itself for adhering to the nuclear deterrence strategy and turning its back on the N-ban treaty. Let us strongly urge the Japanese government to sign the treaty. If the government keeps refusing, we should create a government that is willing to wholeheartedly sign it.

In conclusion, I hope that this rally will achieve a great success and become a good opportunity to boost public movements working for the realization of a world free of nuclear weapons.

Past related articles:
> Rally calls for remembering Bikini tragedy and demands abolition of nuclear weapons [February 25, 2018]
> Bikini H-bomb test victims urge Fisheries Minister to respond to their compensation demand [August 3, 2017]
> Learning about inhumanity of nuclear weapons promotes realization of nuclear-free world [August 2, 2017]
> Hidankyo and Gensuikyo issue statements welcoming Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty [July 9, 2017]
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved