Japan Press Weekly
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Make a success of 2008 World Conference against A & H Bombs
The 2008 World Conference against A & H Bombs will soon be held in Hiroshima and Nagasaki to mark the 63rd anniversary of the atomic bombings of the two cities.
This yearfs World Conference will focus on how to develop international joint action in preparation for the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty Review Conference in 2010 as well as other key issues.
Call for enuclear weapons to be abolishedf is spreading
The World Conference against A & H Bombs has helped heighten public awareness of the need to abolish nuclear weapons and increase the movement against nuclear weapons. In recent years, it has developed cooperation with foreign governments and other international organizations.
More than 80 international delegates from 26 countries will join Japanese participants at this yearfs World Conference. Among them is Sergio Duarte, the first senior U.N. official in charge of nuclear disarmament, to take part in the World Conference.
Expectations on the World Conference are growing in Japan and abroad, among citizens and governments, as well as NGOs, who are more determined than ever to make a success of the 2010 Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty Review Conference. This is all the more so because the agreement reached unanimously at the 2000 NPT conference on the "unequivocal undertaking" to eliminate nuclear arsenals was outrageously rejected by the U.S. Bush administration at the 2005 NPT Review Conference.
The more the world became aware of the miserable situation in Iraq, the clearer became the dangerous and deceptive nature of the U.S. Bush administrationfs preemptive strike strategy that involves the possible use of nuclear weapons. The argument that gnuclear weapons eliminationh is the only way to eradicate their possible use is shared by the various advocates of gnuclear non-proliferation.h
Last year, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and three other elder statesmen issued an appeal calling for ga world without nuclear weapons.h They stated that the United States is called upon to take the initiative in meeting the goal of a nuclear-free world. In a renewed appeal last January calling for ga world without nuclear weapons,h they stressed, gProgress must be facilitated by a clear statement of our ultimate goal; Without the vision of moving toward zero, we will not find the essential cooperation required to stop our downward spiral.h
In response to the appeal issued by four former U.S. public figures, the Norwegian government last February sponsored an international conference on nuclear disarmament named gAchieving the Vision of the Nuclear Free Worldh.
Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Store in the Ministerfs summary and preliminary recommendations made a call to the world, saying, gNational leaders in all states should engage personally with, and make a national priority of, realizing the vision of a world free from nuclear weapons.h
In the meeting, participants, including those from North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member states, including Germany, Britain, and Spain, called for the elimination of nuclear weapons.
This proves that the abolition of nuclear weapons, the main theme of the World Conference against A & H Bombs, is very a reasonable and achievable task for those who wish world peace and security.
Under these circumstances, the Japanese attitude as the only A-bombed nation is an international focus of attention.
The G8 statement only praised the steps that have been taken so far to reduce nuclear arsenals. It stopped short of expressing its determination to abolish nuclear weapons altogether. It was far from what the four former U.S. government officials called for in their statement.
What is more, the Japanese government is using the argument of gconcern about nuclear proliferationh or gJapanfs national securityh as a pretext for justifying its subservience to the U.S. nuclear deterrence strategy. It is even strengthening Japan as a key U.S. base of operation for its preemptive attack strategy.
Play a role on A-bombed countryfs movement
Japanfs peace-loving people are strongly called upon to increase their struggles, in cooperation with international movements making progress, to urge the Japanese government to act decisively as the government of the only A-bombed country and clearly oppose any dangerous moves.
The World Conference will be an occasion to widely gather momentum to further the objectives of various movements, including the effort to have Japan declare itself nuclear-free, the signature campaign calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons, the defense of the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, opposition to the planned deployment of a U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and to the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, and the settlement of certification of A-bomb survivorsf diseases as caused by atomic bomb radiation exposure.
Local communities, workplaces, and schools are called upon to make efforts to send as many delegates as possible to the 2008 World Conference.
- Akahata, July 11, 2008
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