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2021 September 15 - 21 TOP3 [PEACE]

JCP Kasai talks with college students about abolition of nuclear weapons

September 15, 2021

Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Kasai Akira on September 14 in the Dietmembers’ office building met with four young activists engaged in a project to interview Dietmembers in order to make known to the public each Dietmember’s stance on the question of nuclear weapons.

The four are members of an antinuke youth group consisting of students at universities in the Tokyo metropolitan area.

The group launched the project in May with the aim of increasing public awareness in areas other than the A-bombed cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to discuss issues regarding nuclear weapons. Under the project, the group, with the forthcoming general election in mind, will send a letter to 11 Lower House members representing Tokyo and make public their responses by such means as posting on social media.

In the meeting, the group asked the JCP lawmaker some questions which included whether he supports the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), his stance toward the first conference of States Parties to the TPNW, and his view on what prevents Japan from ratifying the TPNW.

In response, Kasai talked about his mother who was exposed to radiation during her visit to Hiroshima City soon after the U.S. atomic bombing and died in 2017, the year when the TPNW was adopted. He also introduced some experiences which motivated him to work for a world without nuclear weapons. He said, “With their inhumane nature, nuclear arms must be eliminated. As the only A-bombed country, Japan should sign and ratify the TPNW and play a role in encouraging nuclear weapons states to join the treaty.”

Asked by the group to do so, Kasai signed the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)-proposed “Parliamentary Pledge” calling on parliamentarians around the world to support the TPNW and make a commitments to press their governments to sign and ratify the treaty.

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