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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 June 22 - 28  > Shii welcomes success of 1st TPNW conference
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2022 June 22 - 28 TOP3 [PEACE]

Shii welcomes success of 1st TPNW conference

June 25, 2022
The three-day first meeting of State Parties to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) held in Vienna, Austria ended on June 23 after adopting the “Vienna Declaration” which stresses the significance of the treaty for achieving a world without nuclear weapons and denounces the nuclear deterrence theory as fallacy. The TPNW meeting also adopted the “Vienna Action Plan” which consists of 50 concrete actions to be taken to meet the goals of the treaty.

On the following day, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo at a press conference in Hiroshima, where he visited to campaign to increase voters’ support for the JCP in the July 10 Upper House election, expressed his appreciation for the success of the TPNW conference and released a statement (Read the full-text below).

At the press conference, Shii stressed that the TPNW meeting sent out a strong message toward realizing a nuclear-weapon-free world under a situation in which Russia’s threat to use nuclear weapons under its aggression in Ukraine has become a big problem and other nuclear weapons states are moving to strengthen their nuclear arsenals.

Shii noted that the Vienna Declaration expresses concern that “some non-nuclear armed states continue to advocate for nuclear deterrence and encourage the ongoing possession of nuclear weapons.” He stressed that the Japanese government should take this as an important point to consider.

In addition, Shii pointed out that it is also important that the meeting affirmed that the nuclear weapons ban treaty and the NPT are complementary to each other which in other words means that they are inseparable.

Stating that in the July 10 Upper House election, the abolition of nuclear weapons is one of the major issues, Shii pointed out that among several major political parties supporting the nuclear deterrence doctrine, the “Nippon Ishin no Kai” party openly advocates the introduction of a nuclear sharing program in Japan, which is totally unacceptable. However, Shii said, the international community is in the process of overcoming the deterrence ideology. He said that during the election campaign, the JCP will work hard to make widely known how discredited the deterrence theory is and to use the election as an opportunity to increase public opinion calling for a world without nuclear weapons.


The full-text of Shii’s statement is as follows:

Shii Kazuo,
Chair of the Central Committee of the Japanese Communist Party
June 24th, 2022

1. The 1st Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons ended on June 23rd, 2022, adopting the “Vienna Declaration” and the “Vienna Action Plan.” In the Declaration, the participants agreed that nuclear weapons are inhumane weaponry, criticized national security policies’ reliance on nuclear weapons, and proposed ideas for the implementation of the Treaty in the coming years for greater participation by other nation states.

Furthermore, the Meeting was an opportunity for the international community to come together to announce to the world about a “nuclear-free world.” This was especially noteworthy in these times where Russia continues its aggression against Ukraine, and threatens the use of nuclear weapons repeatedly, and other nuclear states bolster their capabilities.

We express our gratitude and respects towards the victims of nuclear war (hibakusha) as well as nuclear weapons testing who took part in the meeting by talking about their first hand experiences suffering from the effects from nuclear weaponry. As the Japanese Communist Party, we sent a team led by Kasai Akira, Vice Chair of the International Commission of the JCP and a Member of the House of Representatives, along with a formal Petition to the Chair of the Meeting and other members working on the Nonproliferation Treaty. Our team worked with other delegations towards the successes of this Meeting.

The JCP congratulates the otherworldly successes of the Meeting.

2. It is undeniable that the “Vienna Declaration” criticized heavily the dogma of nuclear deterrence. The Declaration stated that “Far from preserving peace and security, nuclear weapons are used as instruments of policy, linked to coercion, intimidation and heightening of tensions. This highlights now more than ever the fallacy of nuclear deterrence doctrines, which are based and rely on the threat of the actual use of nuclear weapons and, hence, the risks of the destruction of countless lives, of societies, of nations, and of inflicting global catastrophic consequences.” This is a resounding assertion, declaring that nuclear deterrence doctrines are no longer feasible as a policy, and that in order to rid our world of threats of nuclear annihilation, we need to rid our world of nuclear weapons.

Furthermore, the Declaration also stated that they “are further concerned that some non-nuclear armed states continue to advocate for nuclear deterrence and encourage the ongoing possession of nuclear weapons.” We need to understand that this is a direct and grave criticism of the Japanese government’s defense policies.

3. The Meeting proved to the world that the TPNW is an intrinsic part of the international community working towards nonproliferation, as well as a part of established international law. Discussions have begun working on specific matters pertaining to the implementation of the Treaty, including, victim reparation and environmental actions (Article 6) and international cooperation mechanisms (Article 7). Furthermore, the necessity for elucidating routes of participation for nuclear states into the Treaty was emphasized. It is important for the international community to come up with a legal paradigm where member states can mutually adopt the Treaty as part of the greater international legal system.

4. There are now 65 member states of the TPNW, and the Meeting was attended by an additional 34 observers including delegates from the allies of the United States of America. Some delegates from NATO member states mentioned that “while there are certain differences in perspectives, we are looking forward to continue discussing further.” These statements were met with welcoming voices.

However, the refusal of the Japanese government to even bother to send an observer to the Meeting was met with disappointment and criticism. Especially considering the fact that Japan is the only nation state that was the victim to nuclear bomb attacks during a time of war. Such nations cannot call themselves a “bridge” to connect nuclear and non-nuclear states, when it refuses to even bother paying attention to the TPNW Meeting.

We strongly urge that the Japanese government rid of its false narrative of the nuclear deterrence doctrine, and transition from the current shameful state of ignoring the TPNW to becoming a member state of the Treaty.

5. It is important to connect this momentum we have here today, with the NPT Review Conference slated to be held in August this year.

The nature of how the NPT and TPNW complement one another was also discussed and reviewed during the 2017 UN Conference which adopted the TPNW, and this complementarity has been stressed in the Meeting as well. It is now of utmost importance to use the NPT and TPNW as wheels to carry us to a “nuclear-free world.”

The Declaration stressed that the Meeting had “advanced the implementation” of the NPT’s Article VI that requires nuclear states undertake to pursue negotiations on measures related to nuclear disarmament by bringing into force a comprehensive legal prohibition of nuclear weapons. Furthermore, it stated that they urge all NPT States Parties “to reinvigorate their efforts to fully implement the obligation of Article VI and the actions and commitments agreed at NPT review conferences.”

It was also seen that this Meeting was beneficial in laying the groundwork towards an optimistic agreement at the NPT Review Conference. Even allies of the United States, who were worried about the friction that may occur between the NPT and TPNW welcomed the results of the Meeting, stating that they “welcome the Declaration which fully supported the preexisting NPT.”

As the JCP, we will continue to work towards making sure that we can accomplish fruitful results at the NPT Review Conference, as well as promoting the TPNW to its fullest.

6. The Declaration makes it clear that the member states “have no illusions about the challenges and obstacles that lie before us in realizing the aims of this Treaty,” but also that it will “move ahead with optimism and resolve.” It concludes by stating that “We will not rest until the last state has joined the Treaty, the last warhead has been dismantled and destroyed and nuclear weapons have been totally eliminated from the Earth.”

We, as the JCP, also share this mission statement.

We, the JCP, as the single party that has existed in Japan who fought continuously towards a nuclear-free world, will collaborate and cooperate with international organizations, nation states, civil society, and domestic grassroots peace movements against nuclear weapons, until we are all able to realize our goals of living in a truly nuclear-free world.

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