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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 July 15 - 21  > Hibakusha talk with US peace activists in online event seeking a world without nuclear weapons
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2020 July 15 - 21 [PEACE]

Hibakusha talk with US peace activists in online event seeking a world without nuclear weapons

July 15, 2020
At an online event held on July 14, an atomic bomb survivor (Hibakusha) from Japan and peace activists from the U.S. exchanged views under the theme, “The 75th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombings –Promoting a Nuclear Weapons-Free and Just World”.

Speakers were: Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo) Secretary General Kido Sueichi; Gar Alperovitz, author of “The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb and the Architecture of an American Myth”; and Reverend Liz Theoharis, who co-chairs the Poor People’s Campaign. The event organizers called on viewers to join the “Peace Wave” actions scheduled to take place between August 6 and 9 throughout the world and to further promote the Hibakusha-led international signature-collection campaign for the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Kido told his story of the Atomic bombing of Nagasaki, how he worked to start Hidankyo to promote anti-nuke movements at home and abroad, and how Hidankyo has urged the Japanese government to set up a compensation program for Hibakusha. He criticized the Japanese government for refusing to ratify the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty which was adopted at the UN General Assembly in 2017.

Alperovitz said that various military-related documents show that the U.S. did not need to use atomic bombs to end the war. Citing the claim that the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops, he pointed out that it is a myth Washington has used to justify the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and maintain its nuclear arsenal worldwide. Alperovitz stressed the need for grass-roots movements to deconstruct the myth.

Rev. Theoharis stated that half of the U.S. federal budget is spent on the Department of Defense. She emphasized that with economic disparities growing amid the coronavirus pandemic, it is necessary to slash military expenditures in order to improve housing and medical care services for low-income families. Theoharis underscored the need to create a peace economy, not a war economy.

This virtual event was organized by six organizations including the American Friends Service Committee, Northeast Region, Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security, and Peace Action.

Past related article:
> Hiroshima Hibakusha call for just 12 more countries to ratify and thus bring into force UN anti-nuke treaty [July 5, 2020]
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