As we enter the 21st century, an intense desire for a world free of nuclear weapons has taken root extensively in the hearts of people all over the world. The nuclear tests conducted at this juncture by Indian and Pakistani governments have caused a great shock among people worldwide.
Having experienced Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we urge both governments to abandon their programs for nuclear weapons development and testing, as well as their plans to possess nuclear weaponry. Resorting to nuclear force, when a resolution of conflict by peaceful means is required, would put the world in jeopardy of a nuclear war, thus throwing innocent people of the confronting countries into a fate of tragic sacrifice for generations to come. The human race cannot coexist with nuclear weapons, tools for ultimate destruction and annihilation that cannot be justified by no matter what belief, civilization or religion.
At the same time, we do not believe that mere halt to nuclear weapons development by India and Pakistan would solve the problem. For the real cause of the danger of a new arms race and nuclear war, which has thrown the people of the world into a state of fear, lies in the international framework of the nuclear monopoly, which functions to justify possession of nuclear weapons only by the existing nuclear weapons states and ensure their indefinite possession. Nuclear weapons were actually used some half a century ago on two cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The bombs killed more than 200,000 citizens then and even now, their aftereffects afflict over 300,000 Hibakusha, the surviving victims of the atomic bombing. More than 2000 subsequent nuclear weapon tests have brought serious damage upon a wide range of peoples of the world, including those of the U.S. and the former Soviet Union. Further, after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, actual use of nuclear weapons has been considered a number of occasions, thus putting the human race and its civilizations on the verge of extinction each time. How could other countries be persuaded to halt their nuclear possession when existing nuclear states are laudatory of such weapons, calling them a “means for security” or a “deterrence” to aggression, continuing to cling to the privileges bestowed on them by nuclear possession.
The "nuclear weapons control" system, which has served to maintain exclusive rights of a few nuclear "haves", must be defeated. It is, however, self-evident that this should not be achieved by an emergence of new nuclear weapons states. Actually, in one month since the Indian government conducted its nuclear test, reciprocal nuclear tests and missile and nuclear weapons development have suddenly heated up between India and Pakistan. This is nothing other than a microcosm of the "vicious circle" of the nuclear arms race pursued so far by the existing nuclear weapons states.
There is only one way for the
present fear of nuclear weapons to be swept away. It is a total ban on
the use, testing, development, possession, deployment and bringing-in of
nuclear weapons, which should be applied to all countries without allowing
any exceptions and exclusive rights. For this, an agreement on the complete
prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons should be made, and now!
We demand that all the governments of the countries possessing nuclear weapons, including India and Pakistan, determine to abandon their own nuclear arsenals and take concrete steps to achieve an international treaty totally banning and eliminating nuclear weapons. The governments of these countries are responsible for undertaking and implementing this task for the whole of humanity.
At the same time, we call on the peoples of all nuclear weapons states, irrespective of whether declared nuclear weapons states or new ones. When World War II ended, the United Nations declared that its greatest responsibility was maintaining the survival and security of humanity. But the governments of nuclear weapons states and their allies are still reluctant to fulfil their responsibility. To overcome this situation, let us unite our collective wills to urge all governments to move in the direction of abolishing nuclear weapons.
Friends of India and Pakistan, we call on you and the broad range of the people in your countries to take the lead, working together as you have done with world public opinion for peace, in building a grand current for the elimination of nuclear weapons and urging your governments to abandon their nuclear arms.
As an expression of our solidarity, with this message, we hereby send you a set of photo panels depicting the damage of the A-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Japan Council against A & H Bombs (Japan Gensuikyo)