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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 September 7 - 13  > Hibakusha signature petition campaign attracts attention of foreign visitors at Tokyo tourist spot
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2016 September 7 - 13 [PEACE]

Hibakusha signature petition campaign attracts attention of foreign visitors at Tokyo tourist spot

September 7, 2016
Peace and antinuke activists took to the streets at many locations across the country on September 6, asking passersby and tourists to sign a Hibakusha petition calling for the early start of negotiations on a Nuclear Weapons Convention.

Discussions will start this month at the UN General Assembly in response to the UN Open-Ended Working Group recommending the UNGA to commence negotiations on a NWC next year. To hand over an overwhelming number of signatures to the upcoming UNGA, the nationwide action took place.

In Tokyo’s bustling Ueno, members of the Tokyo Council against A and H Bombs (Tokyo Gensuikyo) together with Hibakusha called on Japanese and foreign tourists visiting Ueno Park, where many cultural facilities such as museums, galleries, a zoo, libraries, and concert halls are located, to sign the petition. Visitors stopped at the banners written in Japanese, English, and Chinese asking for signatures for the Hibakusha petition. People from Britain, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, Germany, Spain, Hungary, and Poland as well as Japanese signed onto the Hibakusha appeal.

Watanabe Kazumi, 51, who signed the petition said, “I want the only A-bombed nation of Japan to say clearly “No” to nuclear weapons. I believe Japan has the largest number of people in the world who are actively calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons.”

In concert with the UN International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons slated for September 26, various events are scheduled in various cities in Japan along with the A-bombed cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In Yamanashi Prefecture, for example, a broad range of organizations in the prefecture’s 13 cities are planning to hold signature-collection events at busy shopping areas. In Kanagawa’s Yokohama City, an antinuke rally involving hundreds of people is being planned. The Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Japan Gensuikyo) will have events to listen to Hibakusha testimonies and hold A-bomb photo exhibitions. Japan Gensuikyo is working on many other different groups to actively use images, pictures, music, drama, and social media to organize antinuke events on the UN Day.

Past related articles:
> Japanese gov’t must play responsible role as A-bombed nation in global efforts for a world without nuclear weapons [August 22, 2016]
> Hiroshima Day Rally resolves to promote international signature drive in support of Hibakusha’s appeal [August 7, 2016]
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