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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 August 3 - 9  > Hibakusha press PM to support call for nuclear abolition
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2016 August 3 - 9 [PEACE]

Hibakusha press PM to support call for nuclear abolition

August 7, 2016
Atomic bomb survivors (Hibakusha) representing seven Hiroshima Hibakusha organizations met with Prime Minister Abe Shinzo in the A-bombed city of Hiroshima on August 6, the day the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on the city 71 years ago and pressed Abe to not go along with nuclear weapons possessing nations but to push for the abolition of nuclear weapons as Prime Minister of the only A-bombed country in the world.

The Hibakusha representatives also submitted a petition entitled the International Signature Campaign in Support of the Appeal of Hibakusha for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons which calls upon “all State Governments to conclude a treaty to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons”. The petition conveys messages of Hibakusha who believe that nuclear weapons and human beings cannot co-xist, who never again want to allo the tragedy to be repeated, and who strongly express the desire to achieve a nuclear weapons-free world in their lifetime.

However, Abe did not even offer a comment regarding this petition and only said, “As the A-bombed country’s leader, I will continue my commitment to taking a lead in the global effort for the elimination of nuclear weapons and the realization of lasting world peace.”

Sakuma Kunihiko, chairman of one of the seven Hibakusha groups, said, “Nuclear arms are inhumane weapons and an absolute evil. The humanitarian impact of these weapons is now being called into question.” He demanded that Abe urge nuclear powers to embark on the early conclusion of a Nuclear Weapons Convention.

Yoshioka Yukio, secretary general of a Hibakusha group, said, “The Japanese Constitution was born from deep remorse over the past war which had ended up leading to the A-bomb tragedies. In this sense, the present Constitution is the will of victims of the war and the atomic bombs. We Hibakusha once again demand the revocation of the unconstitutional war legislation and oppose all constitutional revision attempts.”

Prior to the Hibakusha meeting with Abe, a memorial ceremony hosted by the government of Hiroshima City took place at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. About 50,000 citizens, including Hibakusha, bereaved families, and foreign diplomats, took part in the ceremony and offered a minute of silence for the dead at 8:15 a.m., the exact time when the bomb hit ground zero.

Hiroshima City Mayor Matsui Kazumi in the Hiroshima Peace Declaration regards nuclear weapons as an “absolute evil” and “ultimate inhumanity” and stressed the need to get rid of nuclear weapons.

On the other hand, Prime Minister Abe in the ceremony said nothing regarding the need to start negotiations on a NWC and gave a speech echoing the argument of nuclear weapons states which have been insisting that “a step by step approach” is the only practical option for gradual nuclear disarmament.
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