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International Meeting
2010 World Conference against A and H Bombs

International Meeting
2011 World Conference against A and H Bombs

Address of the Organizer

Sawada Shoji
Committee of Chairpersons, Organizing Committee of the World Conference

On behalf of the Organizing Committee, I would like to extend my heartfelt greetings of welcome and solidarity to all of you who have come from abroad and all over Japan to participate in the 2011 World Conference against A & H Bombs.

The 2011 World Conference is joined by representatives of national governments who played significant roles in the 2010 NPT Review Conference and the U.N. General Assembly at the end of last year for the establishment of a world without nuclear weapons. Later in this International Meeting, we will be honored to have the participation of Mr. Sergio Duarte, the U.N. High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, on behalf of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. We have also among us representatives of the Mayors for Peace, including the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and non-nuclear local governments, leaders of NGOs in anti-nuclear and peace movements, dedicated grassroots activists, and Hibakusha and other nuclear victims, who have taken the initiative to create a peaceful, just, and nuclear weapon-free society.

Develop Voice and Movement for Negotiations on a Convention for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons

The international signature campaign, "Appeal for a Total Ban on Nuclear Weapons," has been carried out on a global scale since February 15. It has received support from a broader range of people than ever before, including U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, heads of national governments, Nobel Peace Prize laureates, representatives of anti-nuclear and peace organizations, as well as more than 1,000 heads of local governments and chairs of local assemblies in Japan, including the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and seven prefectural governors. The U.N., national and local governments, and grassroots movements are joining forces and calling for negotiations to be launched for a convention prohibiting nuclear weapons.

It is important to conclude negotiations at the earliest possible date for a nuclear weapons convention, which will provide a legal framework that ensures the abolition of such weapons. But once such negotiations begin, from their initial stage the negotiations will no doubt bring about a major change toward a peaceful world. The U.N. General Assembly last December, held a few months after the 2010 NPT Review Conference, marked one step forward in the movement toward a nuclear weapon-free future. Nearly two-thirds of 192 U.N. member states, the largest number ever, supported a resolution demanding a start to negotiations for a convention banning nuclear weapons. This resolution, which was submitted by Malaysia, received 133 votes in favor, 28 votes against, and 23 abstentions.

Countries that voted in favor of the resolution included nuclear weapon-possessing China, non-NPT members India and Pakistan, as well as North Korea, which has announced its withdrawal from the NPT. This indicates that negotiations for a total ban on nuclear weapons can be launched any minute once a handful of nuclear weapon states make a decision. Furthermore, all countries named by the U.S. as reasons for the need to maintain its nuclear deterrence supported the Malaysian proposal. Therefore, once negotiations start, the U.S. will lose its grounds for keeping its nuclear deterrence. If President Obama calls for a world without nuclear weapons, he should realize that beginning negotiations for a convention banning nuclear weapons is much more realistic and economical than repeatedly conducting subcritical nuclear tests in order to maintain nuclear deterrence.

The start of negotiations for a convention banning nuclear weapons will be a big development for peace in East Asia in particular. At a symposium held in Chicago before a major demonstration in New York in May last year, I said, "The only way to solve the Futenma base issue is to withdraw the base unconditionally. The U.S. Marine Corps, which gives American young people inhumane training that turns them into murderers, should go back to the U.S. mainland." I received a favorable response from the U.S. participants. Since the government change from the Liberal Democratic Party to the Democratic Party of Japan, the DPJ has broken its public promises. It intends to construct a new U.S. base in Nago's Henoko district, in defiance of united opposition from the Okinawan people, and to promote the realignment of the U.S. forces in Japan by overriding objections from local residents near U.S. bases. We must give substance to the Three Non-Nuclear Principles by opposing the strengthening of the Japan-U.S. military alliance, tearing up the secret nuclear agreements between the Japanese and U.S. governments, and abandoning dependence on the U.S. nuclear deterrent under the nuclear umbrella. If we succeed, the situation regarding peace in East Asia will drastically improve and moves to begin negotiations for a convention to ban nuclear weapons will be accelerated. Thus, the age of nuclear threat, which started with the unspeakable "hell on earth" of the A-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, will end, and a new day of peace and justice for the human race, will dawn.

Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Fukushima --- Relief for Hibakusha and nuclear victims and elimination of damage caused by nuclear power plants and radiation

Dear friends,
After the March 11 tsunami and earthquake, hydrogen explosions occurred one after another at the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)'s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station. Full details of the damage to the nuclear reactors is still unknown. Stable cooling of the reactors has not yet been achieved. There are growing concerns about massive leaks of radiation-contaminated water. A vast area has been polluted by radioactive materials and the people have been forced to evacuate from their homes. They are experiencing hardships because they have no idea when they will be able to return. Many workers struggling at the Fukushima plant continue to be exposed to radiation, because TEPCO and the Japanese government have failed to take appropriate preventive measures.

Japan's use of nuclear energy began through a conspiratorial campaign in which the opinions of scientists were suppressed. The Science Council of Japan (SCJ), representing Japanese scientists, summarized their views that technology regarding nuclear power generation was immature and that for the present, Japan should conduct its own research without applying a technology that was developed in association with nuclear weapons development. The SCJ submitted this summary to the government, calling for its careful consideration. Nevertheless, the Japanese government, showing its loyalty to U.S. nuclear policy, promoted nuclear power generation. Although the Japanese government incorporated into the Atomic Energy Basic Act "three principles of independence, democracy, and transparency in peaceful use of nuclear energy", as proposed by the SCJ, it has gone totally against the law. The government has constructed 54 reactors throughout earthquake-prone, densely-populated Japan, including right in the middle of earthquake locations, by propagating the groundless "safety myth." This resulted in the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Once an accident occurs, (1) nuclear power generation causes serious radioactive damage and threatens people's lives and livelihoods. Depending on the scale of the accident, all living things on earth could be endangered, as in the aftermath of a nuclear war. (2) How to handle the highly-contaminated radioactive waste produced as a by-product of NPP operations is still uncertain. We have committed an immoral act by imposing the nuclear waste problem onto future generations. (3) Furthermore, radioactive substances from NPPs have been discharged into the atmosphere and into the sea based on standards created by an organization, which does not appropriately assess the impact of internal radiation exposure, namely the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). Because of this, the amount of nuclear substances in the atmosphere is increasing year by year on a global scale, having harmful effects on the global environment.

The collective lawsuits filed by the Hibakusha for official recognition of their A-bomb diseases have shed light on the severity of radiation damage from internal radiation exposure to radioactivity taken into the body. Through the realization of a treaty banning nuclear weapons, we must establish a world free from the use of nuclear energy for evil purposes. We must also break away from nuclear power generation in order to liberate human beings from the use of nuclear energy for mistaken purposes. Nuclear weapons-possessing states founded the NPT regime with a view to keeping their monopoly of nuclear weapons while restraining nuclear proliferation by allowing the right to peaceful use of atomic power. In this way, these nuclear weapon states and their subordinate governments have covered up the seriousness of internal radiation exposure for the purpose of further promoting the inappropriate use of nuclear energy. A treaty banning nuclear weapons will contribute to ending this contradiction within the NPT regime.

The 2011 World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs is being held at a crucial moment. It is the culmination of our years-long movement since the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 66 years ago. We stand prepared to step forward toward a total ban on nuclear weapons.

Allow me to conclude my greetings on behalf of the Organizing Committee by expressing the hope that this Conference will be an opportunity for all participants to frankly discuss ways to advance the global movement and relief and solidarity for Hibakusha and other nuclear victims.

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