August 7, 2012
On August 6, the 67th anniversary of the U.S. forces’ atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the World Conference against A & H Bombs ended the first half of its conference in Hiroshima City. Preceding the conference, the international meeting took place from August 2 to 4, with 64 foreign representatives in attendance from 20 nations and international organizations.
The international meeting, at its closing on August 4, unanimously adopted a declaration (see separate item) calling for developing an international consensus to demand opening negotiations on the Nuclear Weapons Convention.
On the same day, the opening plenary of the World Conference against A & H Bombs-Hiroshima was held in Hiroshima City with 6,800 citizens participating, including overseas delegates. Hiroshima Mayor Matsui Kazumi as a guest speaker gave an address. The Norwegian charge d’ affaires ad interim, the Malaysian disarmament ambassador, and the Cuban ambassador also gave speeches.
The closing plenary of the World Conference-Hiroshima and the peace memorial ceremony took place in the city on August 6.
Some 7,200 people took part in the closing plenary of the conference. It adopted the “Appeal from Hiroshima” calling for working together to start negotiations in advance of the NWC.
Angela Kane, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, attended the conference on behalf of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Angela read Ban’s message for the conference (see separate item). At the end of her speech, she said to the audience, “I hope your persevering efforts bear fruit.” She received thunderous applause and cheers from the whole house.
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo gave a speech in solidarity (see separate item), calling for opening the door to a “world free of nuclear weapons”.
Baba Tamotsu, mayor of Namie Town in Fukushima Prefecture, said that no less than 21,000 townspeople have been forced to lead a “displaced life” since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in March last year. Two female high school students, who were evacuated from Fukushima, called out in chorus, “Our future must be free of both nuclear weapons and nuclear power.”
During the past year, 5,729 A-bomb sufferers have died. The total number of A-bomb victims is 280,959. A-bomb survivors are getting much older now. The average age of the sufferers living in Hiroshima City is 77.6.