Nuclear-free Kobe Port formula's 30 years existence celebrated

On March 18, Kobe citizens, including many peace activists, marched in demonstration to mark the 30th anniversary of the Non-Nuclear Kobe Port Formula banning nuclear weapons carrying vessels from entering Kobe Port. They called for the Kobe formula to be adopted by other ports in Japan and throughout the world. On March 19, a national meeting was held in the city with 150 peace activists exchanging their experiences in the movement to make ports nuclear-free.

The Kobe formula started when the Kobe City Assembly in 1975 adopted a resolution to require Kobe Port to deny entry of any foreign vessel that does not submit a non-nuclear certificate.

Between 1960 and 1974, 432 U.S. military vessels entered Kobe Port. Since the formula came into effect, not a single U.S. vessel has entered the port.

The 2000 United Nations Millennium Forum for Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) proposed that governments in the world adopt the Kobe Formula to increase nuclear-free zones in the world.

The national meeting referred to the 2000 NGO forum and stressed that the Constitution's Article 9 and the Kobe Formula have now become the guidelines for the world.

Niihara Shoji, a researcher on nuclear weapons, said, "The Kobe Formula is a pioneering mechanism for a non-nuclear peace that the Japanese people have introduced. It needs to be developed nationwide, as the United States is pushing its preemptive attack policy."

Kobe Gakuin University Professor Komatsu Hiroshi called on local governments to develop a movement refusing cooperation with war forced by Japan's contingency legislation.

Berney Richards, president of the New Zealand Peace Council, took part in the march on March 18 and called on the marchers to merge the efforts of the two non-nuclear ports in the world. (end)

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