2002 World Conference against A & H Bombs

For a Peaceful and Promising World Without Nuclear Weapons
We call for support of and participation in the 2002 World Conference against A & H Bombs

February 15, 2002
Organizing Committee, World Conference against A & H Bombs

Now, as the achievement of a peaceful 21st century is bearing more and more urgency for peoples across the world, there is a growing call for and commitment to the immediate abolition of nuclear weapons.  To contribute to developing the call into a truly global demand and to open a window for a new era without nuclear weapons, we will hold the 2002 World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs from August 2 to 9 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  The theme is, “Working Together for a Peaceful and Promising World Without Nuclear Weapons”.  Let us develop international solidarity and cooperation.”  We call on all people in Japan and throughout the world who share the desire to build a world free of nuclear weapons to gather with Hibakusha of Hiroshima/Nagasaki and nuclear weapons victims from around the world to share ideas and actions and discuss agendas for a stronger anti-nuclear weapon movement.  Last year, governments of some non-nuclear weapon states which are striving for the abolition of nuclear weapons sent representatives to the Conference.  The Conference was thus successful in establishing relations with governments and NGOs in support of the cause.  We call on NGOs and local and national governments which support the cause of nuclear weapons abolition to participate in the Conference, either as representatives or individuals, regardless of social position, thought, belief or nationality.

As the voices in support of the abolition of nuclear weapons gained force, in 2000, 187 countries, including the 5 nuclear weapons states, reached agreement on an “unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the total elimination of nuclear weapons.”  This was an epoch making progress.

There has not been, however, any apparent initiative to make good on the undertaking.  The largest nuclear weapons state, the US, has gone so far as to make a policy on the actual use of nuclear weapons.  The US's development of “usable” mini-nukes, its plan to resume underground nuclear test explosions in violation of the CTBT to which it had itself agreed, and its repeated sub-critical nuclear testing have all generated fear and concern across the globe.  On the premise that it is fighting a “war against terrorism”, the US has labeled certain countries as constituting an “axis of evil” and laid out policies on waging war as it wishes.  These actions are the exact opposite of what is required in order to eradicate terrorism and to build a peaceful world order.  As a consequence there has been sharp criticism in Europe and Asia of US “unilateralism”.

We are also increasingly concerned about the future of our own country.  The Japanese government’s unquestioning subordination to menacing US militaristic policies on issues such as nuclear weapons abolition and the nuclear test ban is extraordinary in the world.  Given the presence of more than 100 US military installations in Japan, there is a danger of a possible introduction of nuclear weapons into the country, in violation of the Three Non-Nuclear Policies.  There is even a danger of Japan being fully incorporated into a US war.  It is not military measures such as these, but true contribution to and initiatives for world peace that a majority of the Japanese people expect from their government.

In the 20th century, many people across the world joined forces to build what is now a strong current toward the abolition of nuclear weapons and a peaceful world order based on the UN Charter.  Let us renew our commitment to the cause and reach out for even wider cooperation in order to make this current robust enough to overcome the challenges that confront it.  We call on you to organize a signature drive and other creative actions of your own and to support and take part in the Nation-Wide Peace March against A & H Bombs, which will progress to Hiroshima and Nagasaki from across Japan.

It is our sincere hope that people in Japan and throughout the world will join forces to build a wider and stronger movement and that they will cooperate to achieve the cause of abolishing nuclear weapons.  To this end we request your support and participation in the 2002 World Conference against A & H Bombs.

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Program of the 2002 World Conference against A & H Bombs
(Major programs of the Conference will be conducted with Japanese-English translation.)

International Meeting (Hiroshima): Afternoon of August 2 (Fri) – Morning of August 4 (Sun)
     Based on the Main Theme: “Working Together for a Peaceful and Promising World Without Nuclear Weapons“, international and Japanese delegates of anti-nuclear peace movements will discuss current world nuclear situation and challenges facing them, exchange views and experiences of their respective movements and explore common actions to take to achieve the abolition of nuclear weapons.  The common will of the participants will be expressed as a declaration of the International Meeting to be adopted on August 4.

2002 World Conference against A & H Bombs – Hiroshima, August 4 – 6
     About 10,000 overseas and Japanese grass-roots delegates will join the three-day program of the 2002 World Conference – Hiroshima.  Opening Plenary will be held on the afternoon of August 4, followed by a large number of theme-based or sector-based workshops and group discussions on August 5.  Closing Plenary on August 6 will conclude the program in Hiroshima.  On the evening of August 5, many rallies, forums and events are organized by different organizations, including women’s, youth/students, cultural, etc. that support or are part of the Organizing Committee of the World Conference.  On the morning of August 6, conference participants are to attend the Peace Memorial Ceremony sponsored by the City of Hiroshima.  In the evening of the same day, a traditional lantern floating ceremony to remember the A-bomb victims will be held.

2002 World Conference against A & H Bombs – Nagasaki, August 8 – 9
     The program on August 8 includes a forum of overseas delegates & Japanese grass-roots workers; Meeting with Hibakusha; Inner-City tour of A-bomb monuments; Discussion on grass-roots mobilization, etc.  The Plenary Meeting on August 9 will conclude the entire World Conference programs.

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