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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 October 4 - 10  > Hibakusha celebrate ICAN winning Nobel Peace Prize
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2017 October 4 - 10 TOP3 [PEACE]

Hibakusha celebrate ICAN winning Nobel Peace Prize

October 7&8, 2017
The Norwegian Nobel Committee on October 6 (local time) announced its decision to award this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

ICAN was founded in 2007 in Vienna (Austria) as an international coalition of non-governmental organizations working for nuclear disarmament. Currently it has partnerships with anti-nuke NGOs in more than 100 countries across the globe, including Japan.

The Nobel committee as the reason for its selection citied ICAN’s tenacious efforts to increase public awareness of the devastating consequences caused by the use of nuclear weapons. The committee also noted the international NGO’s “groundbreaking efforts” to achieve a treaty to prohibit nuclear arms.

Following the Nobel committee’s announcement, the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo) held a press conference in Tokyo on the night of October 6.

Hidankyo Advisor Iwasa Mikiso said, “In the year the UN treaty banning nuclear weapons was established, the umbrella organization which worked to support and spread Hibakusha-launched anti-nuke movements won the Nobel Peace Prize. I’m proud of this fact.”

Another Hidankyo executive member Tanaka Terumi said, “The news that ICAN was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize will certainly affect countries refusing to join the nuclear weapons ban treaty such as nuclear weapons states and Japan. At the same time, global movements seeking a nuclear weapons-free world will be greatly strengthened by this news.”

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo issued a comment praising the Nobel Peace Prize winner.

In the comment, Shii said, “I think, the Nobel committee chose ICAN as a winner of the Peace Prize to show its respect for the conclusion of the UN treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons. Furthermore, the committee valued ICAN for its joint efforts with Hibakusha and civil societies to have the treaty adopted.”

Shii attended the March and July sessions of the UN conference which worked to finalize the anti-nuke treaty. Recalling the July session in which the treaty was adopted, Shii said that as civil society member, he shares his joy with ICAN Secretary General Beatrice Fihn.

Shii expressed his determination to urge the Japanese government to change its stance and sign the N-ban treaty in response to the Nobel Peace Prize announcement.


Shortly after the Nobel Peace Prize announcement, ICAN published a statement. The organization was awarded the prize in recognition of its role in realizing the UN treaty. In addition, ICAN stressed that the prize is a “tribute also to the survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – the hibakusha – and victims of nuclear test explosions around the world.”

Meanwhile, the Japanese government took a “no comment” stance. On the previous day, however, in response to the Noble Literature Prize announcement, Prime Minister Abe Shinzo issued a comment expressing his congratulation to the winner, English writer Kazuo Ishiguro.

Past related article:
> Japan’s absence in N-ban treaty will evoke global distrust of Japan [September 14, 2017]
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