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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 December 12 - 18  > Japan opposes UN resolution calling to promote UN nuclear weapons ban treaty
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2018 December 12 - 18 [PEACE]
editorial 

Japan opposes UN resolution calling to promote UN nuclear weapons ban treaty

December 13, 2018

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

The UN General Assembly last week adopted a resolution calling for the signing and ratification of the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty with support from 126 nations or around two thirds of UN member nations. This has made it clear again that the majority of members of the international community wish the treaty to take effect.

In this year’s general assembly, 20 nations said that they are preparing for the ratification. The treaty needs to be ratified by 50 nations in order to become effective. Given that 19 countries already finished their domestic procedure for the ratification, the treaty will most likely go into force in the near future.

The Japanese government in the general assembly opposed the UN resolution seeking to increase the number of ratifiers, claiming that Japan will play the role of the bridge between nuclear weapons states which oppose the treaty, and non-nuclear weapons states which support the treaty. This attitude not only attracted much criticism from anti-nuke peace activists and A-bomb sufferers but also created strong dissatisfaction among non-nuclear weapons states.

While depending on the U.S. nuclear umbrella and acknowledging the legitimacy of the use of nuclear weapons as a last resort, Japan speaks about the need for nuclear disarmament. Such a deceptive tactic is no longer valid. If Japan keeps taking this attitude, it will become isolated and lose its influence in the international political arena.

In Japan, more than 340 municipalities adopted a written opinion urging the national government to sign and ratify the UN treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons. So far, 8.3 million signatures in support of the Hibakusha appeal for the elimination of nuclear weapons were submitted to the UN. The Abe government should sincerely listen to the growing call for a world free from nuclear weapons. What if the Abe government continues refusing to sign and ratify the anti-nuke UN treaty? It will be even more important to establish a government that is willing to do so through joint struggles between opposition parties and concerned citizens.

Past related articles:
> Nagasaki Hibakusha urge Abe to join UN nuclear weapons ban treaty [August 10, 2018]
> On 1st anniversary of anti-nuke UN treaty, let us work harder for nuclear weapons-free world [July 6, 2018]

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