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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 August 17 - 23  > High school students call on gov't to sign and ratify TPNW
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2022 August 17 - 23 [PEACE]

High school students call on gov't to sign and ratify TPNW

August 20, 2022

Representatives of high school students in Hiroshima, Okinawa, and Tokyo visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on August 19 and submitted 13,642 signatures calling on the Japanese government to sign and ratify the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

In this action, Assistant Secretary General of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo) Kodama Michiko and several senior high school students from Saitama, Tokyo, Shizuoka, Hiroshima, and Okinawa prefectures also took part.

The signature-collection drive started last July under the initiative of the High School Students' Peace Seminar in eight prefectures, including Tokyo and Hiroshima.

Submitting the signatures, a second-year Hiroshima high school student said, "I have listened to Hibakusha testimonies and took them to heart. The Japanese government should make efforts to work for the abolition of nuclear weapons." A sophomore in an Okinawa high school said, "After the war, 2,300 nuclear weapons were deployed to Okinawa. Even 50 years after Okinawa's reversion to Japan, there still exist U.S. military bases in Okinawa. 'Peace' based on someone else's fear of falling victim to nuclear weapons is not a true peace. Okinawans reject any attempt to place nuclear bombs in Okinawa again."

Several other students said to Foreign Ministry officials that Japan should break away from its reliance on nuclear deterrence, and that Japan should participate in the meeting of State Parties to the TPNW next year as an observer.

After submitting the signatures, a high school student from Saitama said, "The officials said they will take into account our request, but they avoided giving us a clear response to Japan’s stance on the TPNW. We should further increase public opinion so that we can put pressure on the government to commit to signing and ratifying the TPNW."

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