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JCP Upper House member reaches out to international commission co-chair on nuclear disarmament

Japanese Communist Party House of Councilors member Kasai Akira on May 27 met International Commission on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament co-chair Gareth Evans and handed him copies of JCP Chair Shii Kazuo's letter to U.S. President Barack Obama on nuclear weapons abolition, and the U.S. government letter of response.

The former Australian foreign minister said that the correspondence was good.

Evans on the same day gave a lecture on nuclear disarmament to a group of parliamentarians representing various parties.

During the question and answer session, Kasai stated that the ICNND activity is timely and important, and asked if the time is ripe for starting international negotiations for the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

Evans said that the commission considers the Obama speech in Prague to be important and is discussing an international treaty to eliminate nuclear weapons. Mr. Evans said that he anticipates that the international body, with disarmament experts as members, will draft a report with full impact to that effect.

The ICNND was established by the Japanese and Australian governments in October 2008, co-chaired by Evans and former Japanese Foreign Minister Kawaguchi Yoriko. The commission is tasked to draft a report by the end of 2009 with the aim of promoting nuclear disarmament toward the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference scheduled for May 2010.

- Akahata, May 28, 2009

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