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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 April 22 - May 12  > 2020 antinuke Peace March starts under banner, ‘Importance of people’s lives far outweighs nuclear weapons!’
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2020 April 22 - May 12 TOP3 [PEACE]

2020 antinuke Peace March starts under banner, ‘Importance of people’s lives far outweighs nuclear weapons!’

May 8, 2020
The kick-off rally of this year’s nationwide antinuke Peace March heading toward the annual World Conference against A and H Bombs scheduled for August in Hiroshima and Nagasaki was held on May 6 via online with the aim of preventing the spread of coronavirus infections.

Among the main 11 routes covering all 47 prefectures, the peace march of the Tokyo-Hiroshima route started one day ahead of the other main routes. In the online rally hosted by the annual peace march organizing committee, 100 people, including young activists from the U.S., the Philippines, and several other countries, participated.

In the virtual event, Taka Hiroshi, co-representative of the Steering Committee of the Organizing Committee for the antinuke World Conference, delivered the opening speech. He pointed out, “As this year marks the 75th anniversary of the U.S. A-bombings, together with A-bomb survivors (Hibakusha), we need to work hard to make this year a turning point to create a world without nuclear weapons through grassroots actions.” He proposed that if the situation allows, peace marchers will walk on the actual courses and collect signatures in support of Hibakusha’s call for the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations Representative Director Tanaka Terumi criticized the Abe administration for continuing to endorse the nuclear deterrence theory and refusing to sign and ratify the UN treaty banning nuclear weapons. He appealed for the need to push the Abe government to reevaluate its nuclear weapons policy.

Representatives of organizations comprising the nationwide peace march organizing committee held a relay discussion under the theme, “No more nuclear weapons! People’s lives prevail over weapons!” Takeda Manabu of the Japan Federation of Medical Workers’ Unions (Iroren) said, “Medical workers are working with fear at the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19. The healthcare service which is designed to protect people’s lives can’t coexist with nuclear weapons.” On behalf of the New Japan Women’s Association, Hirano Emiko reported, “Putting the importance on activities to increase public understanding about what happened 75 years ago in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, our organization collected about 1.3 million signatures in the ongoing Hibakusha-led international signature-collection campaign.”

Solidarity video messages from various organizations such as the Daigo Fukuryu Maru (tuna fishing boat “Lucky Dragon No.5”) Peace Association were introduced in the online event. In addition, along with young peace activists from overseas who have experience taking part in the nationwide peace march as members of the international youth relay march, Japanese activists talked about their messages of solidarity and gave musical and other types of performances.

From the Philippines, Malaya Fabros of the Nuclear-Free Philippines Coalition together with her mother Corazon and her younger brother Magiting appeared on the screen and said, “The peace march teaches us peace building. Let us keep on walking with Hibakusha’s determination.” Two young activists who took part in the last year’s peace march performed some songs while another Pilipino activist, A.G. Sano, delivered a painting performance at an art space.

From Japan, Murakami Atsuko, who is a second generation Hiroshima Hibakusha, planned to walk the Tokyo-Hiroshima route for the first time. She said, “I’ll keep motivated and walk all the way to Hiroshima next year.”
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