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51st Shikoku Conference against A & H Bombs held

About 450 peace activists assembled at the 51st Shikoku Conference against A and H Bombs held June 25-26 in Takamatsu City in Kagawa prefecture. Shikoku is a western Japanese island made up of four prefectures.

Following the 1955 Bikini tragedy in which Japanese fishing boats as well as Bikini Atoll residents fell victim to a U.S. hydrogen bomb test explosion, the four prefectures took turns in hosting the Shikoku Conference.

Speaking on behalf of the Kagawa Prefectural Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo), Yamamoto Shigeru said, "It is not easy to get the U.S. nuclear weapons policy changed, but let us move forward toward eliminating nuclear weapons by increasing public awareness and the popular movement."

International political scientist Hatada Shigeo gave a speech entitled, "The achievements and future tasks of the nuclear weapons abolition movement." He said that the Japanese Constitution's Article 9, paragraph 2 is a product of the tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and that the international community now clearly stands for nuclear weapons abolition.

Participants reported on the Gensuikyo delegation's activities in New York during the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in May as well as on the experiences of the movement in the four prefectures. The conference ended after adopting an appeal calling for the success of the World Conference against A and H Bombs in August, marking the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. - Akahata June 26 & 27, 2005

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