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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 May 11 - 17  > Shii: Japan should stop serving as mouthpiece for nuclear weapons states
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2016 May 11 - 17 [PEACE]

Shii: Japan should stop serving as mouthpiece for nuclear weapons states

May 15, 2016
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on May 14 in Hiroshima City before the press said that the Japanese government should stop serving as a mouthpiece for nuclear weapons states in a UN working group on the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Shii said that the establishment of the working group was decided upon at a UN General Assembly meeting in December 2015 with an overwhelming majority support from UN member nations. He added that the UN body is to discuss the legal framework for a world without nuclear weapons in particular, an international treaty banning such weapons.

The JCP chair said that a nuclear weapons convention was called for by a large majority among participating nations in the UN working group. However, he went on to point out that, the five major nuclear weapons states (the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, and China) were opposed to the setting up of the working group and refused to join in the group.

Shii mentioned that the Japanese government abstained from casting its vote for the creation of the working group. He added that although Japan became a group member, it objects to a nuclear weapons convention and instead advocates “an incremental, step-by-step approach” in international efforts for nuclear disarmament.

The argument regarding a “step-by-step approach” was first introduced by the U.S., Britain, and France in the 2013 UN General Assembly meeting with their apparent intention to postpone the elimination of nuclear weapons for an indefinite future. Shii said, “If Japan keeps to this argument in the UN working group meetings, it is tantamount to speaking on behalf of the nuclear weapons states. Tokyo, as the government of the only a-bombed nation, should be ashamed of its attitude. It needs to completely change its stance.”
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