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HOME  > Past issues  > 2024 April 10 - 16  > Hibakusha submit more than 1.1 million signatures calling for Japan’s participation in TPNW
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2024 April 10 - 16 [PEACE]

Hibakusha submit more than 1.1 million signatures calling for Japan’s participation in TPNW

April 13, 2024

While the leaders of Japan and the United States in their joint statement emphasized the importance of strengthening U.S. expanded deterrence capabilities, the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo) on April 12 visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and submitted 1,141,282 signatures calling on Japan to sign and ratify the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

Ieshima Masashi, a Nihon Hidankyo representative director, pointed out that the treaty prohibits the use of nuclear weapons. He noted that Russia has threatened to use nuclear weapons in the war in Ukraine, and that Israeli ministers have reportedly implied that they will use nuclear weapons in Gaza where they continue to attack mercilessly. He said, “Only by eliminating nuclear weapons can the danger of a nuclear war be averted.” He demanded that Japan, the only A-bombed country in the world, join the TPNW and lead the international community toward the abolition of nuclear weapons.

At a press conference held after the submission of the signatures, Kodama Michiko, an assistant secretary general of Nihon Hidankyo, criticized the Japanese government for preparing for war with the United States. She said, “Hibakusha have suffered from WWII and A-bomb related illnesses and discrimination even long after the war. For us, the ‘nuclear umbrella’ means another mushroom cloud. It would not protect us. We want such an umbrella to be eliminated.”

Hamasumi Jiro, a Nihon Hidankyo assistant secretary general, said, “The Foreign Ministry explains that the TPNW is a way out, but it is actually just a gateway.” He added that Japan should give more thought to the current international situation and the role the treaty can play.

An official of the Foreign Ministry repeated the same answer as before about Japan’s participation in the TPNW, saying that no nuclear weapon states have joined the treaty and that without persuading these states to do so, it would be difficult for Japan to join the treaty.
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