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Abolish Nuclear Weapons NowI

A Call for Participation in and Support for
the 2004 World Conference against Atomic & Hydrogen Bombs

We will hold the 2004 World Conference against A & H Bombs on August 2-9 in the A-bombed cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the 59th since the first nuclear attack in history. We are now trying to further press ahead with the global current toward a world free of nuclear weapons by combining our long-time effort to arouse world opinion in favor of nuclear weapons abolition with the world-shaking anti-Iraq war actions, the movements against the dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces to Iraq, and the opposition to an adverse revision of the Japanese Constitution. To this end, we sincerely call on all Japanese and overseas friends to take part in and support the 2004 World Conference.

Our conviction has been getting firmer that the driving force for world progress lies in public opinion and movements of people throughout the world based on reason, not in the enormous military power of big powers. The Iraq war was waged under the pretext of fighting "terrorism" and preventing the "proliferation of weapons of mass destruction", but this justification has been revealed to be fallacious. Severe criticism is growing of the US Bush administration's lawless "preemptive attack" policy that contravenes the UN Charter and tramples down the wish of peoples of the world for peace.

While the Bush administration has fought the war and has been repeatedly threatening to use nuclear weapons by stating that it does not rule out any options, the world has witnessed a new increase in opposition to the use or development of nuclear weapons and the reinforcement of the nuclear weapons monopoly, as well as a wider spread of voices in favor of the total abolition of such weapons.

Pressed by the growing public opinion and the movements throughout the world, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in 2000 unanimously agreed on the unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the elimination of nuclear weapons. In last year's UN General Assembly, we saw the adoption, with overwhelming support, of resolutions calling for this promise to be fulfilled without delay or backpedaling. The World Conference of Mayors for Peace through Inter-city Solidarity, with the Hiroshima mayor as president and the Nagasaki mayor as vice-president, has called for a worldwide action to put pressure on the coming NPT Review Conference (May 2005) to make a start of negotiations for the abolition of nuclear weapons. The "Abolish Nuclear Weapons Now" campaign, launched by the 2003 World Conference against A & H Bombs, has enjoyed broad support in and outside of Japan. A successful 2004 World Conference, followed by an even bigger wave of actions in Japan and the rest of the world toward the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, will make it possible for us to pave the way for a new world without nuclear weapons.

Japan's Movement against A & H Bombs, joined by Hibakusha, has made a call for "No more Hiroshimas and Nagasakis" heard throughout in the world. However, the Japanese government has not fulfilled its responsibilities as the government of the A-bombed country with the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution; it has begun dispatching the Self-Defense Forces abroad in support of the US preemptive attack strategy and is rushing to adversely revise the Constitution. We are resolved to do our utmost to stop these outrages leading to reversing of the course of history, and to meet the expectations of the world for the Japanese anti-nuclear and peace movement.

With grassroots movements as a basic driving force, the World Conference against A & H Bombs has developed cooperation with representatives of national and local governments of different countries that are active in the efforts to achieve the abolition of nuclear weapons. The 2004 World Conference will be a venue for peoples of the world, from national governments and NGOs, to further strengthen their global solidarity beyond boundaries.

We call on all our friends in Japan and the rest of the world to begin now preparing to participate in the 2004 World Conference and carry out various actions to step up the "Abolish Nuclear Weapons Now" signature drive and other grassroots campaigns, organize A-bomb exhibitions and petition campaigns on Hiroshima Day (Aug. 6) and Nagasaki Day (Aug. 9), and support and take part in the National Peace March against A & H Bombs that will start from various places throughout Japan to converge in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

We once again call on you to further develop actions and campaigns all over the world, and support and take part in the 2004 World Conference against A & H Bombs with your achievements and hopes.

February 18, 2004
Organizing Committee of the World Conference against A and H Bombs



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