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2019 December 25 - 2020 January 14 [PEACE]

This year's 1st antinuke signature collection drive takes place

January 7, 2020

An antinuke Tokyo network and the Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs (Japan Gensuikyo) on January 6 held this year's first signature-collecting campaign or the "6th and 9th action" near Tokyo's Shinjuku station, hoping to see the UN treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons take effect this year.

About 70 activists, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombing survivors (Hibakusha) and Japanese Communist Party Dietmembers Kasai Akira and Kira Yoshiko, called on passersby for cooperation in the signature drive.

Four high school students grabbed a microphone to announce their resolve to achieve an entry into force of the N-ban treaty.

Two of them said that they have taken to the streets every month since 2017 to gather signatures in support of the "Appeal of the Hibakusha". They expressed their commitment to further increasing the number of signatures before the opening of the NPT Review Conference and the World Conference against A and H Bombs in NYC in April.

A high school senior who participated in last year's antinuke World Conference in Nagasaki said she had learned a lot while visiting the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum about the reality of the aftermath of the A-bombing. She said, "There, I felt repulsed by war and understood why so many people have been working hard for the elimination of nuclear weapons. I want to convey to my friends and young people how terrible nuclear weapons are and what consequences would follow a nuclear war."

A student in his first year of high school said that he also visited the Atomic Bomb Museum in Nagasaki last year. He said, "Our planet does not need nuclear arms. What I can do now is to collect as many signatures as possible so that nuclear weapons won't be used again."

A first-year female student from Yokohama City said she is studying ventriloquism and will go to NYC with her teacher in order to take part in the antinuke World Conference. Using a puppet named Ken-chan, she said, "Ken-chan and I will bring your no-nuke signatures to the UN Headquarters."

Kamoshita Matsuki, a high school junior who evacuated Fukushima and now lives in Tokyo, spoke of his experience after a nuclear accident contaminated his hometown in 2011 and broke his family apart. He said that he directly appealed to the visiting Pope last November about Fukushima people's suffering and resultant division among them due to the irresponsibility of the Japanese government and nuclear power plant operator.

On the same day, the "6th and 9th action" also took place in the downtown area of Hiroshima City. A 43-year-old man who signed the "Appeal of the Hibakusha" said, "The U.S. Trump administration killed an Iranian commander. Japan will send its forces to the Middle East. I feel very anxious about the situation now. It's like being on the eve of war. I hope that a nuclear war won't occur and current tensions will be resolved through dialogue."

Past related articles:
> Latest UN resolution calling for ratification of nuclear weapons ban treaty follows world trend [December 16, 2019]
> Hibakusha welcome Pope’s speech on nuclear-free world [November 25, 2019]

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