For a Peaceful and Safe World with a Future
Full of Hope for the Human Community,
Let Us Build a Stronger Movement for a
Total Ban on and the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons
The year 2002 began in the midst of violent and rapidly changing world situation. While a majority of the world's nations have come to support the abolition of nuclear weapons, the US Bush administration has taken advantage of the terrorist attack and embarked upon a so-called "war of retaliation" that actually reinforces its hegemony, as illustrated in President Bush's saying that 2002 "will be a war year," pursuing a dangerous policy which retains the possibility of the actual use of nuclear weapons.
Such a reactionary stance is a slap in the face for a world desiring
peace and justice, and will inevitably generate even more irreconcilable
discord with the people of the world. Also Japanese government diplomacy
is facing a major diplomatic standstill due to its obedience to the US
government. In this situation, initiative and vigor on the part of
Japanese movements for a nuclear-weapon free world both in and out of Japan,
are strongly called for.
World Situation and Our Agenda
1. Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons in Japan and
The abolition of nuclear weapons has been a principal goal of Japan Gensuikyo since its founding and this stand has contributed to the development of opinion in support of a nuclear weapon-free world, now the mainstream view of the international community. Building on this achievement, we were able to take another step forward at the 2001 World Conference against A & H Bombs held in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 2001. The Conference received messages of solidarity from a number of countries in the non-aligned movement and the New Agenda group and was participated in by representatives of these countries. This was an epoch-making development of our movement in terms of building cooperation with governments on the cause. One of the participants, the U.N. Ambassador of Malaysia, Hasmy Agam, expressed the great hope his country holds for the efforts of non-governmental organizations at the First Committee of the 56th U.N. General Assembly. The ambassador emphasized that the task of abolishing nuclear weapons remained a priority and added that NGOs are "indispensable partners in a common cause", "They are truly the conscience of humanity who act as beacons showing us the way to a world eventually free of all weapons of mass destruction." His remark is an illustrative example of how some governments have been looking to NGOs for further cooperation when the US government is more engaged in retrogressive and obstructive actions.
After the terrorist attacks on September 11 and under the war of retaliation which ensued, some tried to contain opinions critical of the United States with the argument that "you are either with us or with the terrorists." On the other hand, there was the growing opinion across the world for the immediate abolition of nuclear weapons and against their use, in the face of repeated statements by the officials of the Bush Administration, claiming that the use of nuclear weapons remained one of their options. For example in Japan, in Saitama Prefecture, the Governor and other well-known figures have endorsed a petition calling for the immediate abolition of nuclear weapons, especially given the terrorist attack, and for the commencement of negotiations leading to conclusion of a nuclear weapons convention.
In the disarmament debate at the U.N. last year, the United States and some others tried to shift the focus of discussion to terrorism and the danger of nuclear proliferation and away from nuclear disarmament. But General Secretary Kofi Annan stressed the abolition of nuclear weapons as an even more urgent task after the terrorist attack. Under-Secretary General Jayantha Dhanapala said that the world would be "far better off" by achieving the total elimination of nuclear weapons than the NPT regime. The representatives of the New Agenda group were also critical of US argument suggesting it deviated from the First Committee's principal task. The ambassador of Brazil said "we must be careful that the discussion about the possibility of use of weapons of mass destructions (WMSs) by terrorists does not result in implicit justification for the indefinite retention of those weapons by States. We view any use of WMDs as a misuse. They should be eliminated, in accordance with international obligations." The General Assembly, with an overwhelming majority, adopted resolutions on nuclear disarmament, including a resolution calling for implementation of the "unequivocal undertaking" to achieve the total elimination of nuclear weapons that had been agreed on by all the states parties of the NPT, including the US, at its 2000 Review Conference; and a resolution calling for the fulfillment of that undertaking by commencing negotiations of a nuclear weapons convention providing for their elimination. By doing so, the Assembly once again demonstrated that the cause has grown into a robust current in the world.
2. Dangerous US Nuclear Policy and Its Contradiction
The US Department of Defense issued its "Nuclear Posture Review Report (NPR)" for the first time in eight years and announced a plan to turn its nuclear strategy in a more dangerous direction. It says various offensive capabilities, including nuclear weapons, are needed against "the potential adversaries" such as terrorists and "rogue states" and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. In its "New Triad"(*), an "offensive strike system both nuclear and non-nuclear" is firstly cited, and they say that they will fight against any military interferences by a "combination" of nuclear and conventional weapons. It means a change to a policy openly acknowledging the possible use of nuclear weapons, the weapons of annihilation, which even US government used to officially distinguish from conventional weapons. The NPR also shows such dangerous development of the US nuclear policy that preconditions the use of nuclear weapons, as the promotion of "Missile Defense System" that allows the US to attack without any concern about counterattacks, and the development of "useful" small nuclear weapons by opposing the CTBT and resuming explosion tests.
(*) The US had taken the view that the strategic nuclear weapons of the Army, Navy and Air Force constituted the so-called "Triad" heretofore. However, the "New Triad" is composed of "Offensive strikes systems both nuclear and non-nuclear", "Active and Passive Defense such as missile defense" and "defense infrastructure that maintains and revitalizes the armed forces".)
Behind this is the fact that present US hegemony is at a very dangerous and critical stage. Carrying out a war of retaliation by rejecting a response based on law, the US has reinforced oppressive and arbitrary actions in the name of "campaign against terrorism" and promotes military response in other areas in 2002, "a war year". As can be clearly seen in the "Quadrennial Defense Review Report" issued last autumn, the US regards these who do not share the US government's sense of values as a "threat" and considers it acceptable for the US to start a war without any UN resolution if US thinks it necessary. It set out more blatantly than before its intention to infringe the sovereignty of other countries and justify unilateral military action by calling for the construction of US bases in foreign territories or overthrowing governments it dislikes.
However, the current for abolition of nuclear weapons, a decisive current which does not accept such hegemonic tyranny, is growing. It strongly criticizes a selfish and arbitrary "unilateralism" in doing what it wants around the world without feeling that is bound by anything, setting its own perceived interests above all else while simultaneously destroying and obstructing international instruments that the US once agreed to, such as refusal to ratify the CTBT, notification of its intension to secede from the ABM Treaty and obstruction of the Biological Weapons Convention. Opinion against expansion of military retaliation has been heard even from allied nations. An opinion poll of the terrorist attack on the intellectuals in 24 countries, showed broad criticism of the US; 58% of respondents answered that US policy was mainly to blame for the terrorist attack, 42% answered that US military retaliation is excessive, and 62% answered the US acts for its own interests only. It is obvious that defying the task of humanity to abolish nuclear weapons and destroying international peace order based on UN Charter will inevitably produce more conflict with other countries and deepen the isolation of the US even further.
3. Koizumi's Policy Stands out as Subservient to US
Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro promised Japan's cooperation with the US war of retaliation as if it were a conditioned reflex, and rammed through a bill that allowed Japan's participation in the war in outright violation of the Constitution in order to enable the involvement of Self Defense Forces in war for the first time since WW II. The government accepted the use of weapons with cruel effects, the option of using nuclear weapons in the war on Afghanistan and US moves to expand the war to other regions of the world. The outstanding subservience to actions the US takes, however unlawful they may be, has invited bitter comment even from the mainstream media, such as that Japan has "lost the ability to think on its own". The Japanese version of Newsweek went on to feature articles on "Japan: Time for a colony to achieve 'independence'." An opinion poll resulted in about 70% of the people seeing Japanese foreign policy as "decisions on a day-to-day basis" and "absolutely US oriented" (Yomiuri Shimbun, 31 Oct. 2001). These reports show that diplomacy is a weak point of the Koizumi administration.
Koizumi's failed diplomacy is highlighted on the issue of nuclear weapons. Last year, the Japanese government again submitted a resolution entitled "A Path to the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons" to the U.N. General Assembly, based on the "lesson" learned from its bankrupt resolutions on "ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons." The resolution was ambiguous about the implementation of the "unequivocal undertaking" and reduced the task of nuclear weapons abolition into part of general and complete disarmament. It even dropped the setting of a deadline for the entry of the CTBT into force, which it bragged about for its "progressiveness" the year before, in an effort to not to offend the US government. The resolution resulted in abstention by the New Agenda countries for its retreat from the previous resolutions and opposition by the US for being an insufficient compromise to satisfy US nuclear policy. It was another exposure of Japan's miserable diplomacy servile to the US government.
The pressing agenda for the Koizumi administration is to start legislating a regime during the current ordinary session of the Diet to allow the full participation of the Self Defense Forces in a war waged by the US and to mobilize the people to support it. It would mean an all-out involvement of Japan in menacing US strategies that would "incorporate" nuclear weapons into its war-fighting capability and violate others' sovereignty outright. Today, the build-up of US military bases in Japan, the non-disclosure of information on US nuclear-powered submarines port calls, attacks devoted to destroying the Kobe Nuclear Free Formula, and Japan's cooperation with the US missile defense systems are underway, all of which indicate a growing danger of possible introduction of nuclear weapons in "emergencies" under the US-Japan secret nuclear weapons agreements.
All these constitute downright violation of widely shared people's desire to keep the peace clause, Article 9, of the Japanese Constitution and a retreat from a commitment to a peaceful Asian and world order.
Action Plan for 2002
1. Rejection of the Reverse Current in regard to the Abolition of
Nuclear Weapons and Promotion of Cooperation for a Total Ban on Nuclear
Weapons Both in Japan and Abroad
- We will call for endorsement of the "Letter to the United Nations and the Member States Governments", calling for start of Negotiations on a Treaty Totally Banning and Eliminating Nuclear Weapons Without Delay. We also call for a continuation of the grass-roots signature drive in support of the "Appeal from Hiroshima and Nagasaki", toward the First Preparatory Committee meeting of the NPT Review Conference (April 8 to 19, New York). We will send a delegation to the Preparatory Committee meeting, which will also visit government missions to the U.N. in New York to convey the message for the abolition of nuclear weapons reflected in the above campaigns. Also, a "Student and Youth Tour" will be organized, which will petition the governments for nuclear weapons abolition and take part in the "Stop the War at Home and Abroad! March in Washington D.C. (April 20)".
At the same time we will make a proposal to the Japanese and other governments
on the policy of abolition of nuclear weapons in light of the agreement
reached at the 2000 NPT Review Conference.
We will continue these campaigns to the 2002 World Conference against A & H Bombs to be held in August and U.N. Disarmament Week in October.
- We will improve and intensify criticism against the Bush administration's nuclear strategy, which infringes the "unequivocal undertaking" to accomplish the elimination of nuclear weapons and dangerously brings the actual use of nuclear weapons closer to reality. The administration's unilateralism - planning to resume underground nuclear testing, missile defense programs, militarization of space, development of "usable" nuclear weapons-and signs of beefing up of its nuclear strategy needs a quick response with action, study and efforts for broader cooperation among people against it.
Use of weapons of cruel and inhumane effects such as cluster bombs, fuel air-explosive weapons and depleted uranium shells needs to be condemned. We will work in solidarity with movements working for a ban on these weapons.
- Asian countries are taking stronger initiatives for a nuclear-weapon free world. We will send delegations to these countries to meet government officials and local NGOs to strengthen ties and cooperation on the cause.
2. Creation of a Non-Nuclear and Peaceful Japan by Spreading
Criticism of the Koizumi Government Blindly and Dangerously Following Bush's
- Japan is being made a foothold for the US unlawful projection of hegemony. It is also constrained by the "nuclear umbrella." Now the country is about to be fully incorporated into Bush's war strategy. Under the circumstances, it is imperative that we criticize Koizumi's unquestioned obedience to such US policies, and urge the government of a country that suffered the atomic bombings to build its foreign policy with a view to banning nuclear weapons. We will also start a revised petition drive across the country calling on the government to break away from "nuclear deterrence" and the "nuclear umbrella."
- So-called emergency laws and sending of Self Defense Forces abroad must be opposed while the threatened Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution must be protected. We will support the struggle of people of Nago city, Okinawa, against the construction of a US Marine base as well as the struggle of people and local municipalities against night landing practices (NLP), ultra low flight training and other outrageous actions of US troops in Japan.
- US-Japan secret agreements on nuclear weapons must be brought into the public light. We will demand that the Japanese government require any ship or airplane of any nuclear weapons state to submit nuclear weapon-free certification when calling on a Japanese port. We will work for the preservation of the Kobe Nuclear-Free Formula and the formula's introduction by other municipalities. We will oppose any kind of call by US warships at our commercial ports. We will demand that the three Non-Nuclear Principles of not-to-possess, not-to-manufacture, and not-to-allow the bringing-in of nuclear weapons be written into law.
- We will encourage nuclear-free policies by local municipalities such as nuclear-free declaration and activities to promote peace. We will work in cooperation with them for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
3. Achieving Success of the 2002 World Conference against A &
- We will work for the success of this year's World Conference as a major forum for grass-roots workers and NGOs, as well as local and national governments worldwide to gather and cooperate in support of the abolition of nuclear weapons.
- We will reach out for prominent people of all walks of life, who hope to make a breakthrough in the present situation over nuclear weapons and peace, for their support of and participation in the Conference.
- We will start the planning of the Conference and activities toward its success along with production of materials needed for its promotion, including posters, badges and brochures. We will call on a broader-range of groups/individuals for their cooperation with and participation in the Conference. To meet a national demand for a ban on nuclear weapons, the brochure needs to be improved to gain understanding of anyone who reads it. We will work for their large-scale circulation to match the level of support for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
- The March 1 Bikini Day events are a place to learn about Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Bikini and discuss our strategy for nuclear weapons abolition and a nuclear weapon-free Pacific. It is also a place to promote efforts to build a nuclear weapon-free Japan and the starting point of nation-wide movements for the success of the World Conference against A & H Bombs. We will work for the success of Gensuikyo's 48th Bikini Day meeting and related events, where the action plan adopted by this council meeting and efforts and ideas to achieve nuclear weapons abolition will be discussed, and participants agree upon the goal of building a stronger Gensuikyo through establishing and strengthening local Gensuikyos.
- We will work for the success of this year's Nationwide Peace March. Local Gensuikyos that plan the march need to accelerate their efforts on unification of different groups involved in similar activities and greater cooperation among them through reaching out to a variety of groups and local governments of the region. All municipalities should be visited to obtain their cooperation with the march.
4. Support and Relief for the A-Bomb and Nuclear Victims of the World
and Solidarity with Them
- Japan Gensuikyo should thoroughly strengthen its constant glass-roots activities, spreading information on the real effects of the A-bomb against Hiroshima and Nagasaki and H-bomb experiments in Bikini, promoting the movement to provide relief for and solidarity with Hibakusha and nuclear victims. Local Gensuikyos must have a grasp of the needs and situation of Hibakusha in their areas as a daily activity to develop the network in cooperation with various groups, medical organizations and municipalities.
- Japan Gensuikyo will support further the lawsuits demanding the official recognition of the A-bomb diseases, such as the Azuma and Yasui Lawsuits. We will strengthen the support for group lawsuits under preparation, as well as demand and file for application of the Hibakusha Relief Law to A-bomb sufferers abroad. Support for the struggles of Hibakusha calling on the government for compensation and urging to broaden the area recognized as affected by the A-bombings. For these purposes, we will hold meetings to encourage the movements and negotiations with the government.
- So that people overseas can be provided with more information on the reality of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and listen to the voice of Hibakusha, there is a need to send A-bomb photo sets, to have Hibakusha in the delegations and to organize Hibakushas' speaking tours abroad.
- Fundraising of relief for and solidarity with Hibakusha should be a part of daily activities of every local Gensuikyo throughout the country. Relief for Hibakusha is one of the fundamental aims of Japan Gensuikyo, and local Gensuikyos should carry out their fundraising campaigns to achieve their fund-raising target determined by themselves in various ways; for example, setting out a collection box on a permanent basis, conducting monthly "6th and 9th Day" actions, or special fundraising campaign at the end of the year.
- Japan Gensuikyo will support the movement, tentatively named "International Citizens' Tribunal against Nuclear Weapons Crimes", promoted by the Japan Confederation of A-and H-Bomb Sufferers' Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo).
- To develop cooperation and relations with movements of nuclear sufferers from uranium mining, nuclear industries and test all over the world, there is a need to constantly provide information to one another and to send investigation and exchange delegations abroad. The results of these international activities should be presented at the annual World Conference.
- Japan Gensuikyo will send a delegation to the Marshall Islands on the forthcoming Bikini Day, March 1, 2002. The day will be commemorated in solidarity with the victims and people in Japan and the Marshall Islands. Toward the 50th Anniversary of the H-bomb test at Bikini Atoll, March 1, 2004, we will organize and promote memorial events. The activities will include research on the current situations and needs of victims, support for them, strengthening the solidarity with people of the Marshall Islands and establishing a peace museum on Rongelap Island.
- A delegation with physicians and other experts will be sent to countries in the Pacific such as Fiji in the middle of May this year. Its purpose is to study the extent of damage caused by nuclear testing conducted by the U.K., to seek for relief measures and work in solidarity with the nuclear victims, and to realize a Pacific region and world without nuclear weapons. (The project is planned in cooperation with the Pacific Concerns Resource Center, PCRC.)
5. Opposition to Military Use of Nuclear Power and Solidarity with
the Struggle for the Eradication of Damage from Nuclear Power Plants
We demand the eradication of all kind of damage caused by nuclear fuel cycles. Working in solidarity with the movements to oppose construction of new nuclear power reactors, call for an all-out inspection of nuclear power facilities and revise of the government's nuclear power policy, we demand the development of alternative energies and phased withdrawal from nuclear power as an energy source. We will oppose military use of plutonium, uranium, depleted-uranium and other nuclear materials and of nuclear energy.
6. Expansion and Strengthening of Japan Gensuikyo's Organization
- We will work for stronger cooperation with Gensuikyo's national affiliate organizations and encourage other organizations to join and cooperate with us. We will ask individuals/experts of different fields who share the common goals for cooperation and participation in our activities as board members or expert committee members.
- We will organize a grass-root "Gensuikyo Seminar" in many regions. We need to make it creative and diverse. We can organize a seminar, for instance, where youth and students can learn and discuss the world situation, war and peace and the role of public opinion and movements for a ban on nuclear weapons with a theme: "Knowing the World Affairs, Let us Work Together from Grass-Roots". Gensuikyo will produce and provide materials and textbooks for the seminars.
- We will redouble our effort to build more local Gensuikyos with the
view of building a nation-wide network, covering all cities, towns and
villages of Japan. Recent development of initiatives for the abolition
of nuclear weapons such as signature drives and calls by governments of
Non-Aligned Movement countries and others show possibilities and the need
for bringing in a wider-range of people in our activities. To this
end, along with strengthening anti-nuclear activities by local organizations
of our member organizations, we need to take decisive steps for new membership.
We will study the actual demand and potential for such membership for the
possibility of individual membership in local Gensuikyos. Already
some local Gensuikyos are working with individuals. Our goal is to
build local Gensuikyos with real capability, which together could support
a truly national movement against nuclear weapons in the new century.
In doing so, it is imperative that we work consciously and creatively to
mobilize the energy of every person who has the desire to build a peaceful
world without nuclear weapons but has no contact with our member organizations.
We will hold a national meeting of activists to discuss the issue, building
on past experience and achievements of local Gensuikyos.(*)
(*Article 5 of the Constitution of Japan Gensuikyo reads, "Japan Gensuikyo consists of local Gensuikyos, national organizations and individuals that agree with the object stated in Article 3. In principle, individuals shall join Japan Gensuikyo by affiliating themselves to a local Gensuikyo or a member national organization.")
As a guideline for local Gensuikyos, actions to achieve the three goals
stated in Article 3 of the Constitution need to be realized.(**)
The "Appeal" signature drive, monthly "6th and 9th Day" actions with display
of A-Bomb pictures, fundraising and other support for Hibakusha, and periodic
study meetings are among such actions.
(**Article 3: The object of Japan Gensuikyo is to work for the prevention of nuclear war, the total elimination of nuclear weapons and in support of and solidarity with Hibakusha, and to engage in works related to the three goals, for world peace and the well being of humanity)
- Our monthly newsletter, "Gensuikyo Tsushin", is an important source of information on issues of peace and nuclear weapons in Japan and the world for grass root activists. It needs to be improved and read by people of every region where there is a local Gensuikyo.
- Our website needs to be improved as well as our publications, including "No More Hiroshimas! (English) and "International Information and Documents".
7. Strengthening of Campaign Goods/ Materials Sales and Fundraising
- In order to build a strong financial basis, we will examine the possibility of increasing the percentage of the membership fee that go to support Japan Gensuikyo and prefectural Gensuikyos' finances. Also, we need to increase the number of member organizations. For prefectural Gensuikyos, more reliable finance depends on efforts for establishing/strengthening local Gensuikyos.
- Let us learn from notable achievements in increasing the circulation of World Conference materials, Chihiro Calendars and Gensuikyo Tsushin, so that they can be used in a more practical manner, which is also important for strengthening our activity.
- Let us exert our effort to achieve the set goal for participants in the World Conference and the March 1 Bikini Day events. To secure financial means for the participants, we will need to increase the ratio of donations from the public in order to cover their entire expenses.
- We will continue the fundraising for our new office building.