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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 March 22 - 28  > Hibakusha take to streets to achieve success of NWC conference in NYC
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2017 March 22 - 28 [PEACE]

Hibakusha take to streets to achieve success of NWC conference in NYC

March 23, 2017
With a UN conference on a nuclear weapons ban treaty fast approaching, Hibakusha and anti-nuke activists on March 22 took to the streets at various locations to collect signatures in support of the Hibakusha appeal for the elimination of nuclear weapons.

In Tokyo, near Shibuya Station, about 80 people including 36 A-bomb survivors took part in the action, calling on the passersby to cooperate in the Hibakusha-led international signature collection campaign. Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo) Assistant Secretary General Kido Sueichi said, “‘No more Hibakusha’ is our earnest call.” He was exposed to radiation from the 1945 atomic bombing in Nagasaki.

Japan Council against A & H Bombs (Japan Gensuikyo) Secretary General Yasui Masakazu emphasized the significance of the UN conference which will begin on March 27 in New York City. He stressed, “From Japan, let’s voice our support for a Nuclear Weapons Convention in order to encourage the parties to the conference to take bold action.”

A junior high school girl who signed the petition, said, “As the only A-bombed nation, the Japanese government should respond to Hibakusha’s call and work for the conclusion of a nuclear weapons ban treaty.” Along with Japanese, people from France, Britain, and other countries signed their names to the petition.

Following the street action in Shibuya, at a press conference held in the Upper House Members’ Office Building, Hidankyo Secretary General Tanaka Terumi announced that a total of 1.72 million people signed the petition after the signature collection drive started in April 2016.

Kodama Michiko, a Hidankyo Assistant Secretary General, criticized the Abe government for being reluctant to take part in the planned NWC negotiations. She urged the government to join in the talks. Not just that, Kodama added, the government should play the role as the only country that experienced atomic bomb attacks in the conference and stand the side of nations making efforts to eliminate nuclear arms, and stop being a mouthpiece supporting the recalcitrance of nuclear weapons states.
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