2002 World Conference against A and H Bombs-Hiroshima

"Working together for a peaceful and promising world without nuclear weapons, let us develop international solidarity and cooperation" was the theme of the 2002 World Conference against A and H Bombs-Hiroshima held from August 4-6.

About 7,000 delegates from all over the country and more than 60 overseas delegates took part in the opening plenary held at the Hiroshima Prefectural Gymnasium.

In declaring the 2002 World Conference open on behalf of the Organizing Committee of the World Conference, Kawai Tomoyasu, a steering committee member said, "Let's make the 2002 World Conference a turning point to reach the goal of the immediate elimination of nuclear weapons."

A message from Mayor Akiba Tadatoshi of Hiroshima City was read, in which the mayor expressed his deep concern that people's memory of Hiroshima's tragedy has been receding in the world, and called on political leaders throughout the world to take effective measures for the ban of nuclear weapons.

Stating that at age 14, he was under the radioactive cloud that appeared in the sky over Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, Yamaguchi Senji, Japan Confederation of A and H Bombs Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo) representative, stressed the significance of increasing international pressure calling for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.

Yamaguchi criticized the U.S. Bush administration and Japan's Koizumi government for going against such a current. He called on participants to work to get the Three Non-nuclear Principles enacted, foil the contingency bills completely, defend the Constitution's Article 9, and abrogate the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.

Messages from seven heads of government, including those from President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and President Muhammad Jarmiruddin Shircar of Bangradesh, were introduced.

On behalf of the World Conference Organizing Committee chairpersons, Anzai Ikuo reported on the declaration which had just been adopted by the International Meeting.

Rajmah Hussain, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Malaysia to the United Nations in Geneva, and Mahmoud Mubarak, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Multilateral Relations of Egypt, made special reports.

Overseas delegates from the United States (September 11 Families for a Peaceful Tomorrow) and South Korea, as well as Japanese grass roots campaigners spoke about their activities. "Peace March" participants, who joined 8,000 kilometer-walk to Hiroshima, received a warm welcome. (end)