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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 August 5 - 11  > Hiroshima Hibakusha request Abe to withdraw war bills
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2015 August 5 - 11 [POLITICS]

Hiroshima Hibakusha request Abe to withdraw war bills

August 7, 2015
Representatives of organizations of atomic bomb survivors (Hibakusha) on August 6 met with Prime Minister Abe Shinzo who was visiting Hiroshima to attend a memorial ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. They urged Prime Minister Abe to work for the abolition of nuclear weapons and withdraw the pending war bills.

In the meeting, they criticized the Abe government for implementing measures which go against Hibakusha’s long-standing demands, stressing that the prominent example of measures introduced is the government-proposed war legislation. They pointed out that the war bills violate the Constitution and run counter to Hibakusha’s hopes for peace, and demanded the withdrawal of the bills.

Yoshioka Yukio, secretary general of the liaison council of Hiroshima Hibakusha groups, told PM Abe that the war bills will once again turn Japan into a war-fighting nation which may lead to another tragedy of war. He angrily said that it is unforgivable to make Japan a country where victims of war and atomic bombings cannot rest in peace.

Abe justified the war bills by saying that the bills are necessary to prevent war from breaking out.

Earlier on the same day, the prime minister took part in the Hiroshima City-hosted Peace Memorial Ceremony attended by 55,000 people, including Hibakusha and 65 foreign ambassadors. He delivered a speech but avoided mentioning Japan’s three Non-Nuclear Principles (not to manufacture, possess, or allow nuclear weapons to be brought into Japan).

PM Abe also removed the phrase “abidance by the Japanese Constitution” as he did so in the previous year, causing anger and disappointment from Hibakusha.

In the ceremony, Hiroshima City Mayor Matsui Kazumi issued the Peace Declaration. Pointing out that there are a total of 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world, the mayor in the declaration said that now is the time to start taking actions to abolish “the absolute evil and ultimate inhumanity”. The mayor expressed his determination to work even harder to “accelerate the international trend toward negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention and abolition of nuclear weapons by 2020”.
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