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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 August 2 - 8  > 2023 World Conference Hiroshima Day Rally calls on world leaders to urgently take action for a nuclear-free world
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2023 August 2 - 8 TOP3 [PEACE]

2023 World Conference Hiroshima Day Rally calls on world leaders to urgently take action for a nuclear-free world

August 7, 2023
On August 6, marking the 78th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the 2023 World Conference against A and H Bombs Hiroshima Day Rally took place with 1,500 people, including Japanese and overseas delegates, participating. The rally adopted the “Letter from Hiroshima to All Governments of the World (see below)” calling on all national leaders to urgently take action for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

In the rally, which was also streamed live on the Web, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo delivered a speech in solidarity.

Shii in his speech pointed out that the Japanese government should rethink and renounce the nuclear deterrence theory. He demanded that the government at least participate in meetings of State Parties to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) as an observer and make a contribution to international cooperation in areas of environmental remediation and support for nuclear victims. He stressed that Japan should urge nuclear weapons states to fulfill their obligation under Article 6 of the NPT to work for nuclear disarmament.

Shii expressed his determination to work jointly with concerned citizens to strengthen grassroots movements in order to achieve a world without nuclear weapons.

As guest speakers, Mimaki Toshiyuki, co-chair of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo), and Wada Shizuka, co-convenor of the signature campaign to urge the Japanese government to join the TPNW, appeared on the stage.

The rally program contained a section titled, “Conveying Hibakusha’s voices to the world,” and a section aimed at exchanging experiences and activities at home and abroad.

Speakers in the former section included Setsuko Thurlow who is a Hiroshima A-bomb survivor living in Canada, an A-bomb “black rain” victim, and a victim of the U.S. hydrogen bomb experiment on the Marshall Islands. Those in the latter section were France Unbowed Party lawmaker Ersilia Soudais, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) interim Executive Director Daniel Hogsta, Vietnam Peace Committee member Phan Thi Khanh Chi, and Nuclear-Free Philippines Coalition member Corazon Fabros.

The rally received messages in solidarity from Hiroshima Mayor Matsui Kazumi and Dietmembers of the JCP, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, and the Upper House political group Okinawa Whirlwind.

* * *

Earlier on the day, the Hiroshima City-hosted memorial service was held at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Mayor Matsui, announcing his peace declaration, pointed out that world leaders should admit that the nuclear deterrence theory fails to work, and urged the Japanese government to become a signatory to the TPNW without delay.

* * *

Hiroshima resolution, 2023 World Conference against A and H Bombs

Letter from Hiroshima to All Governments of the World

Assembled in Hiroshima on August 6 in the 78th year since the atomic bombing, we urge the leaders of all governments of the world to take urgent actions to achieve the elimination of nuclear weapons.

We are facing a grave threat of the use of nuclear weapons as Russia continues its aggression in Ukraine. A single atomic bomb indiscriminately killed tens of thousands of civilians and turned Hiroshima into a "hell" in an instant. Hibakusha who barely survived the bombing suffered from radiation aftereffects and social discrimination. The use of even a fraction of today's modernized nuclear arsenal would lead to the annihilation of the human species. The use of nuclear weapons is absolutely unacceptable under any circumstances. We appeal to the international community to work immediately to eradicate the threat.

The G7 Summit Meeting held in Hiroshima in May openly endorsed the theory of "nuclear deterrence," saying that nuclear weapons "deter aggression and prevent war and coercion" ("G7 Leaders' Hiroshima Vision on Nuclear Disarmament"). “Nuclear deterrence" is nothing more than a threat to use nuclear weapons which would bring about the tragedies experienced in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We categorically reject this declaration, which taunts the A-bombed cities and the Hibakusha. The true message from Hiroshima should be that the use and threat of nuclear weapons must not be allowed and that a world without nuclear weapons must be realized immediately.

Precisely because a war in Europe is actually underway and military tensions are rising, it is imperative that progress on disarmament, especially nuclear disarmament, be made. We believe that the 1st Preparatory Committee for the 11th Review Conference of the NPT, currently underway in Vienna, Austria, should commit itself to implementing the following agreements reached so far in the past review conferences: Article VI, which provides for pursuing "negotiations on effective measures relating to nuclear disarmament"; the pledge for "the total elimination of nuclear arsenals" (2000); "to achieve the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons" and the establishment of a "framework" for that purpose (2010).

Our hopes have been raised with the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) which outlawed nuclear weapons for the first time in history and has entered into force and is gaining widespread support and participation. We sincerely welcome the First Meeting of States Parties adoption of a political declaration and an action plan, and the treaty is now in operation. The TPNW complements, and does not contradict, the NPT in achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world. We urge all NPT states parties to support and join the TPNW.

As members of civil society, we express our determination to work together with governments and UN agencies to achieve a world without nuclear weapons. As delegates of the 2023 World Conference against A and H Bombs, we will do our utmost to urge the Japanese government to change its dependence on the "nuclear umbrella" and join the TPNW.

We sincerely hope that you will respond to this appeal from Hiroshima with action.

August 6, 2023

Hiroshima Day Rally, 2023 World Conference against A and H Bombs

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