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2014 February 26 - March 4 [ANTI-N-ARMS]

Bikini Day events mark 60th anniversary of US H-bomb test

March 1&2, 2014
About 2,000 citizens from across the country marched in demonstration in Shizuoka’s Yaizu City on March 1 to mark the 60th anniversary of the U.S. H-bomb test at Bikini Atoll in the western Pacific.

Calling for a total ban on nuclear weapons, the demonstrators marched the three kilometers from JR Yaizu Station to a temple holding the tomb of Kuboyama Aikichi, a crew member of the fishing boat exposed to radioactive fallout from the nuclear test.

The previous day, the Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Japan Gensuikyo) held a national rally in Shizuoka City.

In the keynote speech, Gensuikyo Secretary General Yasui Masakazu quoted Foreign Minister Kishida Fumio as saying that the nuclear powers should limit the use of nuclear weapons to “critical situations” in terms of the right to individual and collective self-defense. Yasui pointed out that according to Kishida’s view, if the U.S. judges a situation as “critical” in a confrontation in which Japan is also engaged under the name of collective self-defense, the U.S. will be allowed to use its nuclear arms. He strongly condemned the Abe government’s dangerous move to authorize the state to exercise the collective self-defense right by changing the conventional interpretation of the war-renouncing Constitution.

Japanese Communist Party Vice-Chair Ogata Yasuo also spoke at the rally.

Ogata noted that Japan’s administration has turned its back on international efforts to create a nuclear-free world and has been even trying to undermine its three nonnuclear principles. He expressed his determination to work hard to get the global community to agree to launch negotiations on a Nuclear Weapons Convention (NWC) at the next NPT Review Conference scheduled for 2015, the 70th year of America’s atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

A panel discussion also took place as part of the Bikini Day events with 160 people in attendance, including overseas delegates. The following four panelists discussed how to develop antinuke movements into an international ground swell: Joseph Gerson of the American Friends Service Committee; Malaya Fabros of the Nuclear-Free Philippines Coalition; Miho Cibot, representative of the French Institute Hiroshima Nagasaki (IHN); and Taka Hiroshi, director of Gensuikyo.

On March 1, 1954, many boats and vessels operating near the Marshall Islands were showered by radioactive fallout from a U.S. hydrogen bomb test explosion at Bikini Atoll. Kuboyama Aikichi was a chief radio operator of the Japanese tuna fishing boat Daigo Fukuryu Maru (Lucky Dragon #5) which was one of the boats showered with lethal ashes. He died six months later due to radiation exposure, saying, “I want to be the last person who is killed by A and H bombs.”
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