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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 August 10 - 16  > Anti-nuke World Conference in Nagasaki calls on world to join Hibakusha-led signature drive
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2016 August 10 - 16 [PEACE]

Anti-nuke World Conference in Nagasaki calls on world to join Hibakusha-led signature drive

August 10, 2016
The 2016 World Conference against A and H Bombs Nagasaki Day Rally took place on August 9 in Nagasaki City with 1,500 people, including overseas delegates, participating. The participants adopted a resolution calling on all governments in the world to take action to swiftly create a world without nuclear weapons.

Japan Confederation of A and H Bombs Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo) representative director Taniguchi Sumiteru, who is one of the initiators of the international signature-collection campaign in support of the Hibakusha’s appeal for the elimination of nuclear weapons, delivered a speech. He said, “All nuclear weapons should be eliminated. Let’s work to develop the international signature drive into a global movement like the Stockholm peace appeal campaign.”

On behalf of the chairpersons of the World Conference Organizing Committee, Anzai Ikuro delivered a speech. He called on the participants to promote the newly-launched international signature drive on various occasions and venues such as the UN General Assembly, the UN International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons (September 26), and the UN Disarmament Week (October 24-30).

Japanese high school students and some foreign delegates appeared on the stage and spoke about their anti-nuke movements. They expressed their determination to work even harder to achieve a nuclear weapons-free world.

***

Earlier on the same day, at the Nagasaki Peace Park in the city, the city government held a ceremony to commemorate the 71st anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, with 5,600 people, including Hibakusha and bereaved families, taking part.

At the ceremony, Nagasaki Mayor Taue Tomihisa read out the Nagasaki Peace Declaration. The declaration points out that the sessions being held at the United Nations Office in Geneva to deliberate a legal framework for nuclear disarmament are “a huge step forward”. It called on the leaders of nuclear weapons states to attend the sessions and participate in the deliberation.

After the ceremony, representatives of five Nagasaki Hibakusha groups met with Prime Minister Abe Shinzo in the city and handed over a petition.

Representing the five groups, Kawano Koichi of a Nagasaki center for peace movements said, “Hibakusha have been exerting their utmost efforts to create a world without war and nuclear weapons. Japan’s pacifist Constitution has been the backbone of such efforts. Hibakusha will never tolerate the war legislation that disregards the Constitution.”

In response, PM Abe reused the wording of his speech at the memorial ceremony, “Such a disastrous experience must never be repeated. Japan will continue to make various efforts to bring about the elimination of nuclear weapons.”

The petition cited the fact that non-nuclear weapons states have been working to establish an international consensus that nuclear weapons are inhumane, which led to the creation of the UN working group discussing a legal ban on nuclear weapons. The document went on to state that nuclear weapons states and Japan are going against this world trend. It also expressed a concern about the possibility that Japan will take part in wars abroad based on the war legislation. The Hibakusha petition stated that holding the pacifist principle of its Constitution, Japan should play a leading role in establishing the ban on nuclear weapons in the international community.
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