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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 July 4 - 10  > On 1st anniversary of anti-nuke UN treaty, let us work harder for nuclear weapons-free world
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2018 July 4 - 10 TOP3 [PEACE]

On 1st anniversary of anti-nuke UN treaty, let us work harder for nuclear weapons-free world

July 6, 2018

Akahata editorial (excerpt)

July 7, 2018 will mark the first anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons.

The treaty needs to be ratified by 50 countries to come into effect. So far, it has been signed by 59 countries and ratified by 10. Of course, it takes a certain process time for a signatory of the treaty to complete domestic procedures to complete the ratification process. However, what is happening is better understood as a tug of war between advocates and opponents of the anti-nuke UN treaty. The local media in Sweden, one of the countries supportive of the treaty, reported that the nation’s defense minister received pressure from the U.S. Secretary of Defense who said that Sweden’s signing of the treaty will have a negative impact on bilateral defense cooperation. In the last year’s UN conference, the South African ambassador said that unnamed nuclear powers had tried to persuade African countries to not take part in the conference. It can be easily imagined that opponents of the treaty are maneuvering behind the international political scene.

Since the adoption of the nuclear weapons ban treaty a year ago, the Japanese Communist Party has strongly been urging the Abe government to sign and ratify the treaty. The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, Social Democratic Party, Liberal Party, and the parliamentary group in the House of Councilors “Okinawa Whirlwind” are also making similar requests. Hopefully, the opposition parties will include this demand in their joint platform to develop opposition parties-concerned citizens collaboration. As of July 4, 293 municipalities have adopted written opinions demanding the signing and ratification of the treaty by the central government. The tug of war is also seen in local assemblies.

The government of Japan, the one and only A-bombed country in the world, steadfastly refuses to join the nuclear weapons ban treaty. This is because the Abe government is dependent on the U.S. nuclear deterrence capability.

In order to overcome backlash and proceed to a world free from nuclear weapons, peace activists in Japan and the rest of the world need to step up their efforts. In these rapidly changing times, the joint struggle that helped realize the nuclear weapons ban treaty should fulfill its role. Let us work to give a boost to the international signature collection campaign in support of the Hibakusha appeal for the elimination of nuclear weapons. Expectations are running high for the 2018 World Conference against A and H Bombs scheduled for next month.

Past related articles:
> JCP Chair Shii issues statement to welcome the nuclear weapons ban treaty [July 9, 2017]
> Success of 2017 antinuke World Conference will give fresh boost to realization of nuclear weapons ban treaty [July 3, 2017]
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