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Gensuikyo secretary general calls for a global action against N-weapons


Japan Council against A & H Bombs (Japan Gensuikyo) Secretary General Taka Hiroshi explained the features and challenges of the upcoming 2008 World Conference against A & H Bombs (August 2-9, Hiroshima and Nagasaki) in an interview with Akahata. Following are his remarks as published in the July 12 issue of Akahata:


This yearfs World Conference against A & H Bombs is tasked to give rise to global action to reflect the dramatic change in circumstances surrounding the effort to get nuclear weapons abolished.


A statement calling for a gworld without nuclear weaponsh issued last January by four former senior U.S. officials, including former Secretaries of States George Schultz and Henry Kissinger, has had a profound impact not only on the United States but also on other nuclear-weapon states and NATO countries. Their statement may have arisen from their sense of crisis about nuclear proliferation, but it clearly urges the U.S. government to take the lead in working for a nuclear weapons-free world.


A quick look at the movements since the beginning of this year alone shows that during the Geneva Disarmament Conference, the British Secretary of State for Defense in support of the vision for a gworld without nuclear weaponsh stated that Britain is ready to cooperate to achieve this objective. The Norwegian government held an international conference under the theme gAchieving the Vision of a World Free of Nuclear Weapons.h The Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs has sent a message in support of the upcoming 2008 World Conference A & H Bombs.


5 nuclear statesf promise of eunequivocal undertaking to eliminate nuclear weaponsf


Achieving a world free of nuclear weapons is absolutely a realistic goal. During the 2000 NPT Review Conference, the five original nuclear-weapons states agreed with the gunequivocal undertakingh to geliminate their nuclear arsenals.h Out of the 190 parties to the NPT, 184 states voluntarily pledged to neither possess nor develop nuclear weapons. North Korea also agreed to give up its nuclear weapons programs. Israel, India, and Pakistan are yet to sign the NPT, but 95 percent of the worldfs nuclear weapons are held by the United States and Russia, so if the five major nuclear powers are willing to, an agreement for a total ban on nuclear weapons becomes possible. Therefore, it is important to urge these nuclear-weapons states, especially the major bottleneck United States, to gmove right now!h


There is an argument creating gthreats of terrorism and proliferationh or ga lack of a security environment.h U.S. President George W. Bush for that reason trampled on the agreement for the elimination of nuclear weapons and rushed to invade Iraq by depicting the country as the biggest nuclear threat. However, diplomatic efforts are the main vehicle to solve any international dispute, and thus the abolition is clearly the only way to eradicate the threat of actual use of nuclear weapons.


In the upcoming 2008 World Conference, Japan Gensuikyo will also demonstrate its decisive resolve as a major component of the Japanese peace movement.


The Japanese government has been unable to advocate a ban on nuclear weapons even though it is the government of the only atomic-bombed country. In the recent G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit, the government even didnft call for cuts in nuclear weapons. This is because it completely relies on the U.S. gnuclear umbrella,h and this is the primary reason for the governmentfs reluctance to recognize and compensate A-bomb survivors (Hibakusha).


Neither U.S. military bases in Japan nor the planned deployment of the U.S. atomic-powered aircraft carrier is for the defense of Japan. Their aim is to use Japan as a major stepping-stone for military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere.


2010 NPT Conference


The movement calling for a gnuclear-free Japan declarationh is spreading throughout the country. Japan Gensuikyo will contribute to further increasing this effort in order to meet the wishes of the Japanese people, who defend the maintenance of the Japanese Constitution and the Three Non-nuclear Principles as a national policy.


The upcoming 2008 World Conference will call for an ginternational campaign for a nuclear weapons-free worldh towards the 2010 NPT Conference. Japan Gensuikyo is also planning to launch a new international signature-collection drive and hold photo exhibitions in Japan and abroad to make the reality of the A-bombings known. For a world free of nuclear weapons and a peaceful Japan without nuclear weapons, Japan Gensuikyo calls on people from all local communities, workplaces, and schools in Japan to participate in the 2008 World Conference.                                                                      - Akahata, July 12, 2008


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