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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 July 7 - 13  > July 7 marks 4th anniversary of TPNW
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2021 July 7 - 13 [PEACE]

July 7 marks 4th anniversary of TPNW

July 7, 2021
Akahata editorial (excerpts)

July 7 marks the fourth anniversary of the adoption of the UN treaty outlawing nuclear weapons. After the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) came into force on January 22 this year, the number of countries ratifying and signing the treaty increased to 54 and 86, respectively.

Meanwhile, any further intensification of tensions between the United States and China or Russia could trigger armed conflict with the risk of going nuclear. There is no doubt that the use of nuclear weapons would bring about catastrophic consequences. Non-nuclear nations and global civil society in general as well as atomic-bomb survivors (Hibakusha) developed a great sense of danger about this possibility and worked together to help realize the TPNW.

Since nuclear powers have not joined the TPNW, some people are questioning the effectiveness of the treaty. As Austria's Disarmament Ambassador Alexander Kmentt who will chair the first conference of the parties to the treaty slated for January 2022 said, an increase in the number of signatory countries will help "to influence the nuclear weapons policies of nuclear-armed states and nuclear client states".

There have been some positive changes among U.S. allies. In Belgium, where the NATO headquarters is located, the coalition government announced that it will consider promoting nuclear disarmament under the TPNW. In Norway, a NATO member, the largest party of the Norwegian parliament decided to set a goal of signing the treaty. In Australia, a parliamentary majority are calling for Australia's participation in the treaty.

Opinion polls in Japan show that 60-70% of the Japanese are in support of signing and ratifying the treaty. Of all municipalities in Japan, as of July 1, more than 30% or 584 of them have adopted resolutions calling on the Japanese government to sign and ratify the treaty. However, the Suga government refuses to be a signatory to the treaty by claiming that Japan is protected under the U.S. "nuclear umbrella". Such an attitude is impeding the global momentum toward nuclear disarmament, totally inappropriate for the only A-bombed country in the world.

The international obligation of the Japanese antinuke movement to extert more pressure on the Japanese government is becoming more important than ever before.
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