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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 August 2 - 8  > Learning about inhumanity of nuclear weapons promotes realization of nuclear-free world
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2017 August 2 - 8 [PEACE]

Learning about inhumanity of nuclear weapons promotes realization of nuclear-free world

August 2, 2017
Akahata ‘current’ column

The nuclear weapons ban treaty adopted at the UN Conference refers to the “unacceptable suffering of and harm” inflicted on A-bomb survivors (Hibakusha) as well as on nuclear test victims. Nuclear weapons states are de facto perpetrators who caused untold damage to innocent citizens by carrying out nuclear tests. The U.S., the U.K., France, the former Soviet Union (Russia), and China and others conducted 488 atmospheric nuclear tests in total.

For example, the U.S. carried out H-bomb tests explosion at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. How much “unacceptable suffering” did the U.S. H-bomb test explosion bring about to Bikini Atoll? When I visited Kochi Prefecture, I met a junior high school teacher and he told me about peace education in Muroto City. Muroto’s junior high school students this spring visited the Embassy of the Republic of the Marshall Islands in Tokyo, as their school excursion.

Counsellor Annette Note from the Marshall Islands Embassy said that the U.S. had conducted 67 nuclear test explosions near the Marshall Islands, and 23 times in Bikini Atoll. She went on to say that this was on the same scale as a situation in which Hiroshima-type atomic bombs are dropped every day for 12 years.

The junior high school students who listened to her story made the following comments. One student said, “The U.S. hydrogen bomb test explosions at Bikini Atoll were terrible nuclear tests but many Japanese and the people around the world do not know about this. I hope I can contribute to helping the local residents.” Another student said, “I learned that because the local residents had been showered with ‘death ash’ from the nuclear test at Bikini Atoll, some women gave birth to children with six fingers, and many people are suffering from cancer.“ Another said, “The U.S. H-bomb test 63 years ago still plagues many local residents. I want to create a peaceful world without nuclear weapons.”

The N-ban treaty in its preamble stipulates that the state parties to the treaty recognize “the importance of peace and disarmament education in all its aspects and of raising awareness of the risks and consequences of nuclear weapons for current and future generations.”

Meiji University lecturer in international law Yamada Toshinori said, “It will be important to raise world citizens’ awareness about nuclear weapons through global education. The situation where world citizens share a common understanding of the inhumane nature of nuclear weapons will be the foundation for pressuring nuclear weapons states and their allies to ban nuclear weapons.”

Past related articles:
> Nuclear weapons ban treaty examines Japan’s responsibility as A-bombed nation [ July 12, 2017]
> Hidankyo and Gensuikyo issue statements welcoming Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty [ July 9, 2017]
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