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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 August 17 - 23  > Japanese gov’t must play responsible role as A-bombed nation in global efforts for a world without nuclear weapons
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2016 August 17 - 23 [PEACE]
editorial 

Japanese gov’t must play responsible role as A-bombed nation in global efforts for a world without nuclear weapons

August 22, 2016
Akahata editorial (excerpts)

The UN Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) discussing legal approaches to achieve a world without nuclear weapons on August 19 adopted a report which recommends the UN General Assembly to commence negotiations on measures for nuclear disarmament, including a Nuclear Weapons Convention, next year.

The report states that a conference should be held in 2017 to negotiate “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination.” It is expected that the UNGA will organize discussions in accordance with the OEWG report.

To ban nuclear weapons by treaty is a long standing core demand of international anti-nuclear peace movements. Declaration of the International Meeting of the 2016 World Conference against A and H Bombs requested the OEWG to submit to the UNGA concrete recommendations which include the commencement of negotiations for a treaty to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons. The OEWG report reflects worldwide public opinion and movements against nuclear weapons.

Despite its hard work, the working group failed to reach a unanimous adoption because U.S. allies objected to the commencement of talks on a NWC. The report was adopted by a majority vote. The Japanese government delegation was opposed to a NWC and absented itself from the voting. It also received fierce criticism from various countries over its argument which appears to represent the position of the major nuclear weapons states.

The Japanese delegation’s behavior is rooted in the Abe government’s policy which depends on the U.S. “nuclear umbrella”. It is reported that Prime Minister Abe Shinzo voiced his opposition to the Obama administration’s move to declare a “no first use” nuclear-weapons policy by saying that the policy “could weaken deterrence against nations like North Korea”.

The strong need is to press the Japanese government to abandon its shameful policy and play a responsible role as the A-bombed nation in the global move toward a “world free from nuclear weapons”.

Past related articles:
> Antinuke ‘Declaration’ directly handed to UN Open-Ended Working Group [August 9, 2016]
> International antinuke meeting declares promotion of signature-collection drive leading to NWC [August 3-5, 2016]
> Shii: Japan should stop serving as mouthpiece for nuclear weapons states [May 15, 2016]
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