Let Us Act Now with All Our Might to
Achieve a World without Nuclear Weapons
At the turn of the century, the movement and public support for a nuclear-free world is having greater impact than ever. To set the new era free of the menace of nuclear weapons, we call on all people of the world to take action together.
(1) It is fifty-five years since the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in which hundreds of thousands of people were killed and maimed instantly. The call of the Hibakusha, the A-bomb survivors, that the "errors of the 20th century must not be repeated in the 21st century" is shared by the victims of the development, production and testing of nuclear weapons, and is growing to form world public opinion. Our effort to achieve the abolition of nuclear weapons has reached a crucial stage.
The United Nations General Assembly has repeatedly adopted, by an overwhelming vote, resolutions calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons. Last year, in addition to the Non-aligned resolution, a New Agenda Coalition resolution calling on the nuclear weapons States to commit themselves to the swift abolition of nuclear arms drummed up support from more than 100 States. Only 13 countries voted against the resolution, including the nuclear weapons states except for China.
At the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference held this past spring, States parties, including the nuclear weapons states, endorsed the final document. This document upheld an "unequivocal undertaking by the nuclear-weapon States to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals". The NPT regime is contradictory in that it allows a handful of big powers to hold a monopoly on nuclear weapons while denying the other countries access to such weapons. But even from countries which are supportive of the NPT regime the call is increasing for total elimination to be made an obligation and priority task, rather than just an ultimate goal.
The NGO Millennium Forum, called at the initiative of U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and attended by more than 1,000 NGOs from around the world, unanimously adopted the final declaration calling for efforts to "eliminate all nuclear weapons and to ban them."
Having its charter signed prior to the emergence of nuclear weapons, the United Nations, in its First Resolution unanimously adopted at the First General Assembly in 1946, subscribed to the "elimination of atomic weapons from national arsenals." This decision, on which the post-war international community was supposed to be built, has been overruled by the nuclear powers. But a change is taking place and peoples' movements throughout the world are making a breakthrough.
New concrete efforts to achieve peace in East Asia and other regions are creating conditions, which offer hope to people. The first ever North-South Korean summit talks were hailed widely by peace-loving people around the world as a new development, which is conducive to a peaceful Korean Peninsula. Solving international problems through mutually agreed talks must be a fundamental principle of the 21st century. Nuclear threats and blackmail are incompatible with this principle.
Let us make the voices demanding the abolition of nuclear weapons heard everywhere in the world. The task now is for the world's peoples, the anti-nuclear peace movement, national governments and the U.N. to work in cooperation to achieve a world without nuclear weapons.
(2) The nuclear powers still hold over 30,000 nuclear weapons. This situation poses a grave threat to the survival of the human race and indeed of the whole planet. Especially the U.S.A. continues to enhance its nuclear weapons and develop new ones, through repeated subcritical nuclear tests, in an attempt to secure its absolute nuclear superiority. Active U.S. nuclear weapons alone have a destructive power which is equivalent to well over 100,000 Hiroshima-type bombs. Furthermore, the U.S. Senate refusal to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) came at the same time as the U.S.A. was moving to strengthen its first-strike strategy, targeting even non-nuclear weapon States.
The U.S.A. persists in introducing National Missile Defense (NMD), as well as Theater Missile Defense (TMD) programs, generating the danger of triggering a new round of nuclear arms race. The aim is to secure unrestricted operation of its first-strike strategy by neutralizing missile attacks against the U.S.A. This has given rise to strong opposition not only from the world anti-nuclear forces but also from other nuclear weapon States and NATO member States. Opposition is also growing in the U.S.A. The contradictions in the U.S. government's position are deepening and the U.S. government is more isolated from the rest of the world.
The future of the Earth and humanity hinges on this urgent task of abolishing nuclear weapons. The nuclear weapon States should make a definite and fundamental decision to eliminate nuclear weapons in accordance with the final document of the NPT Review Conference they agreed upon, which pledged an "unequivocal undertaking" to eliminate nuclear weapons.
Opposition to U.S. interventionist policy, involving its allies in NATO and Japan, and the affirmation of the principles of the U.N. Charter for world peace, such as respect for independence, national sovereignty, non-interference in another country's domestic affairs and peaceful resolution of conflicts, are essential for peace in the 21st century, and for the elimination of nuclear weapons.
In opposition to hegemony both military and economic, let us achieve equality, democracy and justice. We must broaden cooperation with a wide range of movements: movements to reduce military expenditure; end hunger, poverty and environmental destruction; improve people's welfare and living conditions; and movements for independent and democratic development of the economy and society.
(3) The Constitution of Japan, the only A-bombed country, renounces war as a means of settling international disputes and pledges not to maintain war potentials, but the government's international policy stands against the emerging trend toward nuclear weapons abolition and world peace. This is causing grave concern.
The Japanese government has enacted War Laws -- the legislation related to the Japan-U.S. Guidelines for Defense Cooperation -- to give full support to U.S. wars. At the Group of Eight Okinawa Summit, the Japanese government's response to the peace initiative taken on the Korean Peninsula was to underrate it. Further, it is moving to strengthen the Japan-U.S. military alliance, accelerating the process of consolidation of the U.S. military systems in Okinawa and the rest of Japan. The struggle of the people of Okinawa calling for the reduction and removal of military bases is entering a new stage, enjoying international support and solidarity.
Recently it was exposed in the Japanese parliament that "secret agreements on nuclear weapons" exist between Japan and the U.S.A. as part of bilateral military arrangements. Under these secret agreements, the unrestricted entry into Japan of U.S. warships and military aircraft carrying nuclear weapons was allowed. Even now, there is a real danger that Japan will become a nuclear attack base against the Asia-Pacific region. Although it was proved that the Japanese government's assertion that no nuclear weapons have been brought into Japan was a complete lie, this Government has no intention of revealing the truth to the public. It is now plain for all to see that the "Three Non-Nuclear Principles" are completely hollow.
The movement to make Japan a non-nuclear country has valuable accomplishments, including the "Kobe Formula," which mandates foreign military vessels calling at Kobe port to submit a certificate that no nuclear weapons are on board. Now a new wave of campaigns is emerging to change the government's policy, which has deceived the public for such a long time. These campaigns have developed into a movement to change Japan's foreign policy into one of non-nuclear peace diplomacy by rejecting U.S. control and establishing a non-aligned and neutral Japan after abrogating the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. If progress is achieved towards this aim, it will be a great contribution to abolishing nuclear weapons and achieving peace in Asia and the world.
(4) Let us take the following actions together, mobilizing public opinion from grassroots to achieve the elimination of nuclear weapons now:
- Let us urge the United Nations, all its member States, including the nuclear weapon States, to start international negotiations immediately for the abolition of nuclear weapons. We have to call on the nuclear weapons States to swiftly implement the "unequivocal undertaking to eliminate nuclear weapons" as agreed upon in the NPT Review Conference, and urge all national governments to declare that the abolition of nuclear weapons should be among the priority tasks to be fulfilled at the start of the 21st century. As the first joint action aimed to reach this goal, let us promote our campaigns and build public opinion, focusing on the U.N. Millennium Summit and Millennium Assembly to be held this coming autumn.
- Let us call on all nuclear weapons States to abandon first-use of nuclear weapons, cancel the NMD and TMD programs and ban all kinds of nuclear tests, including subcritical tests. Let us progress campaigns for expanding and implementing nuclear weapon-free zones; campaigns for the removal of all nuclear weapons deployed in foreign territorial land/seas and high seas; campaigns to obligate foreign vessels and military aircraft to submit a certificate that they are not carrying nuclear weapons; and campaigns to make countries, municipalities, ports and airports nuclear-free. By combining these movements with the trend calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons, let us encircle and isolate the pro-nuclear forces.
- We will step up the survey, revelation and dissemination of information on the sufferings of the world's Hibakusha, including the Hibakusha of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Building on the total victory of the Nagasaki A-Bomb Matsuya Lawsuit, we must achieve compensation for the Hibakusha and the victims of nuclear arms. Noting the relationship between nuclear energy development and nuclear weapons production, we oppose the use of nuclear materials, such as plutonium and depleted uranium, and nuclear energy for military purposes, and demand the prohibition of production and transfer of weapon-grade nuclear materials. We must work in solidarity with the struggle to put an end to the damage caused by the nuclear fuel cycle, for example the damage caused by last year's accident at the JCO Plant (Tokaimura).
Through long term efforts, including the signature campaign for the "Appeal from Hiroshima and Nagasaki", the movement against A & H Bombs, motivated by the tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, has contributed to making the elimination of nuclear weapons a true expression of the will of the people of the world. This in turn has brought us to the current situation in which the pro-nuclear forces are held at bay. With firm conviction in the movement that we have sustained over the latter half of this century, in unity let us make further inroads on the common tasks of preventing nuclear war, eliminating nuclear weapons and providing relief and solidarity for the Hibakusha, irrespective of differences of belief, creed, States, ethnicity or generation. Unity is the key to ridding the world of nuclear weapons.
We appeal to the people of the world. We can change the world. This is our firm conviction, which is growing stronger every day. Let us bring together all our efforts and actions to build a decisive momentum towards the earliest possible realization of a nuclear-free 21st century. Let us bring about ever greater changes in the state of the world, and present our accomplishments to the 2001 World Conference against A & H Bombs, the first of the 21st century.
August 4, 2000
International Meeting, 2000 World Conference against A & H Bombs
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