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HOME  > Past issues  > 2024 January 17 - 23  > Nukes should be eliminated before they destroy the planet
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2024 January 17 - 23 [PEACE]

Nukes should be eliminated before they destroy the planet

January 22, 2024

Akahata ‘Current’ column

Most Japanese know nothing about Sao Tome and Principe, a small island nation of Central Africa, located in the Gulf of Guinea. More than 220,000 people live in an area about half the size of Tokyo.

Many native plants and animals exist there, and the main industry is the cultivation of cacao. Sao Tome and Principe has a deep relationship with Japan. Japanese short-grain rice which Japan provides in food aid is popular and appreciated by Sao Tomeans. This small island nation this month ratified the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), becoming the 70th state party to do so.

Executive Director for the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Melissa Parke, who had worked hard to help establish the TPNW, welcomed the ratification by Sao Tome and Principe and expressed her hope, “As more and more countries join the TPNW, they strengthen the new international norm it has created that makes nuclear weapons unacceptable.”

Ahead of the third anniversary of the entry into force of the TPNW on January 22, Melissa visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In the A-bombed cities, she said that the abolition of nuclear weapons is the means to leave intact a planet people can live on, and that the treaty has great significance. She stressed the need to depart from security policies dependent on nuclear weapons.

She referred to the Japanese government, which keeps turning its back on the treaty despite being the only country to have suffered the devastation of A-bombings during wartime. She said that Japan should have been the first country to sign and ratify the TPNW, and that Japan has a responsibility to break away from the nuclear umbrella and join the treaty.

Regardless of the size, all countries are on the same planet. Melissa, in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum visitors’ book, wrote that Hiroshima is telling the world that nuclear weapons have no place on the planet, and that all nuclear weapons should be eliminated before they destroy the planet.
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