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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 November 29 - December 5  > Int’l community questions Japan rejecting no-nuke treaty while supporting no-nuke world
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2023 November 29 - December 5 [PEACE]

Int’l community questions Japan rejecting no-nuke treaty while supporting no-nuke world

December 5, 2023

The Japanese government has taken the title of “a strange country” on the world stage as the international community is wondering at Japan’s inconsistency: refusing to participate in the 2nd Meeting of State Parties to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) while simultaneously calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Kasai Akira at a House of Representatives committee meeting on December 4 said that he heard similar views a number of times during his participation in the 2nd TPNW meeting at the UN Headquarters in NYC. He demanded that Japan sign and ratify the treaty as soon as possible.

The 2nd meeting of TPNW parties took place amid a serious back-streaming trend: Russia and Israel are threatening the use of nuclear weapons; and nuclear-weapons states continue to intend to enhance their nuclear forces. Kasai said that despite such circumstances, the meeting achieved a great success in upgrading the effectiveness and norms of the treaty as an international accord.

Kasai reported that state parties attending the meeting agreed on a political declaration entitled, “Our commitment to upholding the prohibition of nuclear weapons and averting their catastrophic consequences.” He asked about the government views on this political statement which rejects any justification for nuclear deterrence and calls on all countries to be TPNW signatories.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamikawa Yoko answered, “The TPNW is important, but none of the nuclear-weapon states participates in the treaty. Since Japan was not present at the meeting of parties to that treaty, I will refrain from making any further comments.”

Kasai said that during the state parties’ meeting, an Equatorial Guinea representative asked for an explanation why Japan in the UN General Assembly always sides with nuclear-weapons states, and that Hiroshima Governor Yuzaki Hidehiko answered he himself is nonplused by the Japanese government.

Kasai said, “As the country having experienced the inhumane consequences of atomic bombings, Japan should play an important role in the treaty and engage in talks with nuclear-weapon states.” Kamikawa, however, showed Japan’s unwillingness to accept Kasai’s proposal by saying, “The security environment surrounding Japan is still tough.” Kasai in response said, “That is why this treaty is important.”

He said that Germany, a U.S. ally, attended the 2nd meeting of TPNW parties as an observer, that a German representative expressed that the country will keep engaging in global discussions relating to the establishment of a world without nuclear weapons. Kasai said, “Japan should learn from the German stance.”

Past related article:
> JCP sends a statement to the president of 2023 Meeting of the States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons [November 27, 2023]
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