Speech at the International Peace Conference
iHiroshi Taka, Japan Council against A and H Bombsj
May 1, 2010
Hiroshi Taka, Japan Council against A and H Bombs
Thank you for the opportunity to speak. Let me take the opportunity to express my deep appreciation to the US peace movement for all your hard work for the success in this conference and other NPT-related actions. It has been a dream for us, particularly the A-bombs sufferers, to walk with you in the streets of the New York City calling together for a nuclear weapon-free future.
It will soon be 65 years since A-bombs were dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The two bombs claimed the lives of some 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 70,000 in Nagasaki. They are still tormenting over 230,000 surviving Hibakusha in their minds and bodies. As President Obama rightly pointed out, gone nuclear weapon exploded in one city -- no matter where it happens, there is no end to what the consequences might be.h
In the last century, the humans, with many struggles and sacrifices, laid a basis for the 21st century: One is the UN Charter. It makes it an obligation for all nations to solve international conflicts by peaceful means. And the other is the final document of the NPT Review Conference agreed upon in May 2000. It makes it obligation for the nuclear weapons states to gaccomplish the completely elimination of their nuclear arsenals.h All that the coming NPT Review Conference should achieve is to fulfill this obligation and change ga world without nuclear weaponsh into reality.
Our delegation set the following four points as the objective of our actions in New York.
First, President Obama, we welcome your promise to gpursue peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons, and support your effort to carry it out.
You say, maybe you cannot achieve it in your lifetime. Donft be so pessimistic! Even at present, of 189 NPT member states, as many as 184 are placing themselves under the treaty obligation of not acquiring or manufacturing nuclear weapons, thus already choosing the road of nuclear weapon-free world. In addition, even among 9 states who have nuclear weapons, India, Pakistan, North Korea and China voted in support of the start of negotiations on nuclear weapons convention in December last year. By the say, Iran, too, voted for it. This shows, if you and a handful of other nuclear weapon states leaders take a decision, banning nuclear weapons by law is possible even NOW. Please look at this reality.
Second. A nuclear weapon-free world cannot be achieved by the decision of the nuclear weapon states alone. It will more largely depend on how widely both people and governments will call for action for it, vocally and courageously. We call on all governments to say during the NPT Review conference that time has come to make a decision to build a system, where nuclear weapons are banned universally, with no discrimination. It will make more people in the nuclear weapons states and gnuclear umbrellah states to choose the road to the nuclear weapon-free world.
Third, the most important of all is of course to build up public opinion for a ban on nuclear weapons. We are not too sure about an outcome of the NPT Review Conference. NGOs are not parties. However, it is definitely our responsibility to raise the pubic awareness on the urgent need and possibility to render the world nuclear weapon-free.
For some 20 months, we have developed the signature campaign calling for the start and complete negotiations on a nuclear weapon convention. We are bringing all signatures collected by yesterday to New York. Look at the photograph of the conference program on the back page. it depicts 4 million signatures we shipped in March. Tomorrow, we will pile up over 2 million signatures at the HammarskjoNld Plaza.
Fourth. We are calling on the Japanese Government that as the government of the only A-bombed country and of the country that renounced by constitution the war as means to resolve international conflicts, it should propose a ban on nuclear weapons by law. Among the signers of our petition, there are 1,462 mayors and local assembly chairs or vice-chair persons. Here in lies an evidence that the Japanese people stands for a total o show where the will of the majority of the people lie.
Some 1,600 Gensuikyo delegates, who carried the signatures, will operate signature campaign in many places in New York, decollating photos of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. If you encounter such actions, please say Hello to them, and if possible, join them even for a few minutes. Solidarity thus developed will add new energy and joy to us all in making next step toward the 65th year of the A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August. /c