Regional denuclearization is conducive to a nuclear-free world: Japan Gensuikyo Secretary General Taka

Takakusagi (Taka) Hiroshi, secretary general of the Japan Council against A & H Bombs (Japan Gensuikyo) attended the Conference of Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones held April 26-28 in Mexico City. In an interview with Akahata, he made the following comments:

This conference was held at the initiative of countries that do not have nuclear weapons ahead of the convening of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in May in New York.

Representatives of the four nuclear-free zones in their reports made clear that the establishment of nuclear-free zones is an important process toward world peace and security and a world without nuclear weapons. Most of speakers strongly called for the accord of the 2000 NPT Review Conference, particularly the 13 provisions of the final document (the unequivocal undertaking to eliminate all nuclear arsenals), to be implemented.

In the first day session, Hiroshima Mayor Akiba Tadatoshi spoke on behalf of the World Conference of Mayors for Peace. Stressing the urgent need to abolish nuclear weapons, he called on nuclear weapons countries to immediately carry out the "undertaking" that they had promised. Most delegates shared the sentiment expressed by the Hiroshima mayor.

In an NGO event on the second day, Mexican Ambassador for Disarmament Luis Alfonso de Alba expressed support for the World Conference of Mayors for Peace action plan calling for nuclear weapons to be abolished by 2020.

In the discussion, many delegates demanded that the nuclear weapons countries implement the so-called "passive security" promising that they do not use nuclear weapons.

Speaking on the protocol to the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone, which calls for the treaty to be applied to the exclusive economic zones, the Malaysian ambassador to the United Nations said that the nuclear weapons countries' rejection is unreasonable because this provision is essential for the development of nuclear-free zones in the world.

The conference was attended by a government representative of France, a nuclear power, as well as a Japanese government representative, both as observers. This is a positive move.

The Japanese government representative expressed support for the creation of nuclear-free zones in general. He stated that Japan as the only atomic-bombed country maintains the goal of abolishing nuclear weapons and that it will defend the Three Non-nuclear Principles (not to possess, manufacture or allow nuclear weapons to be brought into Japan).

However, the Japanese government representative carefully avoided referring to the NPT Review Conference's "unequivocal undertaking" for a nuclear-free world. -Akahata, April 30, 2005

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