Non-nuclear cooperation increases between grassroots movement and local
In Japan, about 2,600 municipalities (80 percent of all municipalities)
have declared themselves nuclear-free. But those involved in the grassroots
movement for nuclear-free local government now say, "Declaration is not
enough," and suggest increasing cooperation with municipal governments in
the effort to further increase the anti-nuclear awareness among citizens.
This was a major point of discussion in a symposium held in Tokyo on
November 24 by the Association for a Non-Nuclear Government and the Japan
Council against A and H Bombs (Japan Gensuikyo). The symposium was held
under the theme, "For the New Development of Non-Nuclear Municipality
Movement," and was attended by 150 people.
During the discussion, it became clear that publication of a non-nuclear
declaration by a municipality is not the goal but the starting point of the
activity of helping the municipality to move forward.
The Nagasaki Association for Non-Nuclear Government has surveyed all
municipalities about the peace programs they carry out. In Kagoshima
Prefecture, the bay area local association has visited the area's towns
calling on them to initiate peace projects.
On behalf of the Urayasu City administration in Chiba prefecture,
Itabashi Junzaburo, assistant head of the international exchange section,
said that the city had public libraries hold A-bomb exhibitions to let young
parents know more about war.
Panelist Arabori Hiroshi (Japanese Communist Party Municipality Bureau
director) said the development of the movement against A & H bombs in Japan,
the only atom-bombed country, has contributed to these developments of local
grassroots activities in cooperation with local governments in the effort to
raise the level of residents' anti-nuclear awareness. (end)