World Conference calls for worldwide unity to stop nuclear war policy

"We are facing new dangers in relation to the issues of nuclear weapons and the question of war or peace." Sawada Shoichi, emphasized at the opening of the International Meeting of the 2002 World Conference against A and H Bombs on August 2 in Hiroshima. This was in the address he delivered on behalf of the organizing committee of the World Conference.

Sawada gave a warning against the move of the U.S. Bush administration which adopts a preemptive nuclear strike strategy and plans of unilateral launch of a war on Iraq. He also stressed that voices criticizing the U.S. strategy are spreading widely, and called for further consolidation of solidarity and unity of peoples of the world, as well as cooperation between NGOs and non-nuclear governments toward the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Konishi Satoru, secretary-general of the Japan Confederation of Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo), also said that "since the inauguration of the Bush administration, the international situation has taken a sudden turn and an ominous dark cloud is now hanging over the world." "In no time in the past half-century has the warning of Hiroshima had such a serious meaning as today."

The opening plenary of the International Meeting was attended by 64 overseas delegates of 24 countries and 6 international and regional organizations, plus some 200 Japanese delegates. The prime ministers or presidents of Vietnam, Malaysia, Sweden, New Zealand and Laos sent messages to the World Conference.

In Session I on the task of abolishing nuclear weapons, delegates from the United States, China, India and Japan made reports. In the discussion, Ogata Yasuo, Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors and JCP international bureau director, emphasized the significance of close cooperation between the World Conference against A and H Bombs and the New Agenda Coalition, ASEAN countries and Non-alignment movement.

In Session II which dealt with "opposition to terrorism and retaliation," Rita Lasar, from the "September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows," who lost her brother in the World Trade Center, made a speech. (end)