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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 August 5 - 11  > Shii at NGO-hosted forum urges Japanese gov’t to join UN nuclear weapons ban treaty
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2020 August 5 - 11 [POLITICS]

Shii at NGO-hosted forum urges Japanese gov’t to join UN nuclear weapons ban treaty

August 6, 2020

Japanese Communist Patty Chair Shii Kazuo on August 5 at a forum which was held in Hiroshima in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima exchanged opinions with representatives of Hibakusha, the United Nations, the Japanese government, and ruling and opposition parties on the theme, “What should Japan do toward the elimination of nuclear weapons?”

The forum was hosted by the Japan NGO Network for Nuclear Weapons Abolition.

Shii pointed out that it has become clear with the fight against the coronavirus that military forces, and nuclear weapons in particular, are useless. He insisted that it is necessary to reduce military spending, especially nuclear weapons spending, and instead use it to protect people’s lives and dignity.

In order to create a nuclear-free world, Shii said that the international community must work to achieve an entry into force of the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty as early as possible and make progress toward achieving this at NPT Review Conferences. Shii expressed his determination to do his utmost to promote grassroots movements working for the enforcement and development of the antinuke UN treaty. At the same time, Shii underscored the need to push nuclear weapons powers to fulfill their existing NPT pledges and make further commitments in the next NPT Review Conference.

Shii criticized the Japanese government for turning its back on the UN treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons, and urged that it change its position and sign the treaty. In addition, referring to the latest Hiroshima District Court ruling in favor of the A-bomb “black rain” victims, Shii demanded that the government refrain from appealing to a higher court and take measures to provide relief to all Hibakusha.

Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan leader Edano Yukio said, “The UN treaty banning nuclear weapons is epoch-making. Japan should create a road map to sign on to this accord.”

UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Nakamitsu Izumi said that with arms races intensifying, disarmament is now considered a tool to enhance national security. Regarding the antinuke UN treaty, she urged the Japanese government to “not close the door” on the treaty.

International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) Executive Director Beatrice Fihn said that it is impossible to protect nations with nuclear weapons and that Japan should join the treaty and work for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo) representative director Tanaka Terumi said, “I hope the Japanese government will sign and ratify the antinuke treaty, become a party to the treaty, and take a lead in global efforts for the elimination of nuclear weapons.”

In response, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Omi Asako just repeated the government’s conventional argument that Japan is a bridge between nuclear powers and non-nuclear powers.

Past related article:
> 84 radioactive ‘black rain’ victims in court recognized as atomic bomb sufferers [uly 30, 2020]
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