The Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs
(Gensuikyo) 2-4-4 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8464 JAPAN
E-mail: email@example.com Tel: +81-3-5842-6034
Web Site: http://www10.plala.or.jp/~antiatom
The Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen
Bombs (Gensuikyo) was established in September 1955.
Since then it has waged various kinds of campaigns for: the prevention
of nuclear war; the total ban on and the elimination of nuclear
weapons; and support and solidarity with Hibakusha (victims of the
atomic bombing.) The council's founding followed the first World
Conference against A & H Bombs, which was held in August of
the same year in the wake of the U.S. hydrogen bomb testing at the
Marshall Islands in the South Pacific. The test, code named "Bravo",
had victimized, along with a number of the islanders, many Japanese
fishermen. The Japanese people was outraged for being exposed to
the nuclear weapons for the third time after Hiroshima and Nagasaki
and felt the need to establish an organization that would take charge
in mobilizing national movements against nuclear testing and nuclear
Gensuikyo is an non-governmental and an umbrella organization constituted
by local Gensuikyos of all of the 47 prefectures of Japan, and some 50
national organizations (such as trade unions, women, youth/students, religious,
lawyers organizations) and individuals that share the same goals. Its
action program is discussed and decided by its board members at annual
national council meeting.
Gensuikyo sends delegations to international conferences related to nuclear
disarmament, including the annual U.N. General Assembly and Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Treaty. It also participates numerous international conferences not only
on disarmament issues but also on broader issues related to war and peace.
Gensuikyo has also sent delegations to meet with nuclear victims of other
parts of the world and worked in solidarity with the victims and peace
organizations of those countries. Those places include, the United States,
the former Soviet Union, the U.K., French Polynesia, the Marshall Islands,
Fiji and India.
Gensuikyo is a member of International Peace Bureau (the IPB) and its
Secretary General, Hiroshi TAKA, serves a vice-president of the IPB.
Introducing the Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs
Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs (Japan Gensuikyo) was
founded on September 19, 1955. In the background of the founding of the
organization was the damage and suffering from nuclear weapons brought
to Japan on three occasions: Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Bikini.
<Hiroshima and Nagasaki>
The United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima on August 6 and on
Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. The enormous destructive power of the heat
rays, blast pressure and radiation of the atomic bombs created a hell
on earth beyond human imagination. The number of those who were killed
instantly on that day or those who had died by the end of 1945 after much
suffering were 150,000 in Hiroshima and 70,000 in Nagasaki (±10,000 respectively).
The total number of the Hibakusha (A-bomb victims) who had died by the
end of 1995 was about 340,000, and at present, there are 290,000 Hibakusha
The U.S., fearing that if the truth about the A-bombing were disclosed
and known to the world ?it would be charged with violation of international
law, made an official announcement at the beginning of September 1945,
only 1 month after the atomic bombing, saying that those who were doomed
to die have all died and now there is no one who is still suffering from
the A-bomb radiation. A strict Press Code was imposed on all reports regarding
the atomic bombing and the damage it caused. The Japanese government,
under full occupation of the U.S forces, cooperated with the U.S. and
stopped the relief activity for the survivors, leaving them in pain and
suffering for a long time.
The Bikini hydrogen bomb test and the suffering it caused in 1954 greatly
shocked the Japanese people. It reminded them of the atrocity on Hiroshima
and Nagasaki, and the voices for a ban on atomic and hydrogen bombs spread
across the country.
This hydrogen bomb test was code-named "Bravo", and was conducted
by the U.S. on March 1, 1954 at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands in
the Pacific Ocean, where a Japanese tuna fishing boat "The Fifth
Lucky Dragon" was smothered with deadly fallout, causing the death
of one crewmember later that year. The destructive power of the hydrogen
bomb was about 1,000 times that of the Hiroshima-type A-bomb, and it caused
extensive pollution around the test area, including the Marshall Islands.
At the time, not only the Fifth Lucky Dragon, but as many as 856 Japanese
fishing boats with some 10,000 crewmen on board were operating in the
surrounding area and were exposed to radiation. It also had a serious
impact on the Japanese people as a whole, as a result of the polluted
This incident again brought home to the Japanese people the terror of
atomic and hydrogen bombs. The signature campaign to prohibit A-and H-Bombs
triggered by the incident spread all over the country and within one year
the number of signatures collected reached 34 million, the majority of
the then eligible voters of Japan. In the background of such enhanced
public opinion and the movement against nuclear weapons, the First World
Conference against A and H Bombs was held in Hiroshima in August 1955,
where three basic goals of the anti-A and H-Bomb movement were established:
Prevention of nuclear war, Abolition of nuclear weapons, and Relief and
solidarity for the Hibakusha. Following the conclusion of the World Conference,
Japan Gensuikyo was formed on September 19, 1955 as a body to continue
Goals and Activities
Upholding the three goals established in the First World Conference against
A and H Bombs: Prevention of nuclear war, Abolition of nuclear weapons,
and Relief and solidarity for the Hibakusha, Japan Gensuikyo has worked
to develop public opinion and cooperation among people for the core task
of abolishing nuclear weapons. In so doing, it has succeeded in transcending
differences of thought, creed and political position.
Prevention of Nuclear War and Abolition of Nuclear Weapons
1) World Conference against A & H Bombs:
Ever since its first meeting in August 1955, the Japanese anti-A and H-bomb
movement has every year convened the World Conference against A &
H Bombs during the days of August 6 and 9 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Working
together with the Hibakusha, the World Conference has contributed to spreading
the message of "Hiroshima and Nagasaki Never Again" to all corners
of the world, to save the human race from the danger of nuclear catastrophe.
The World Conference draws together some 10,000 delegates from all over
Japan, including representatives of anti-nuclear peace groups and nuclear
victims organizations of the world. At the conference these people are
able to exchange experiences and information and discuss future directions
for the movement to send out to the world.
Recently, cooperation with governments of countries of the New Agenda
Group and the Non-Aligned Movement has been increasing, as seen in the
attendance of representatives from these countries at the World Conference
and the messages of solidarity from the heads of states addressed to the
Conference, such as Malaysia, Sweden and New Zealand. In the 2002 World
Conference, the Assistant Foreign Minister of Egypt and the Disarmament
Ambassador of Malaysia took part. The prospect for cooperation and joint
effort with these non-nuclear governments for the common goal of a nuclear
weapon-free world is growing.
2) Nation-Wide Peace March
Since 1958, a Nation-Wide Peace March has been organized, starting in
May on 11 different routes heading for Hiroshima and Nagasaki to join
the World Conference. The Tokyo-Hiroshima course starts in the beginning
of May with the ceremony held in front of the Fifth Lucky Dragon Museum
in Tokyo. A few through-marchers lead the marches all the way from Tokyo
to Hiroshima for three months, joined by thousands of local citizens and
peace workers on the way. Along the way, many mini peace marches have
branched out from the main routes, to spread the message of peace to all
local communities in Japan. A total of about 100,000 people took part
in one or more of these marches last year, and the coordination to link
these marches with other groups' efforts is also developing.
3) Day-to-Day Campaigns for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons
A. "Don't Use Nuclear Weapons, Abolish Them" Campaign:
Despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of the world's population
opposes Bush's war on Iraq, on March 20, the U.S.-U.K. military launched
their bombing attacks on Iraq. Carrying on from its initiatives to prevent
the war, Japan Gensuikyo has been working on the signature campaign: "Don't
Use Nuclear Weapons, Abolish Them" as its core activity in the current
situation. This signature campaign sends out a warning about the fact
that the U.S. openly declares that it does not exclude the option of using
nuclear arms, and that it is developing "usable" nuclear weapons.
The campaign also strongly opposes wars of preemptive strike where nuclear
weapons might be used and it sternly criticizes the Koizumi government
of Japan for its cooperation in this U.S. war and its unbecoming attitude
as the only A-bombed country.
Signatures have been collected all over the country, especially on the
6th and 9th days of every month ("6th and 9th Actions") and
have been delivered to the U.S. and the Japanese governments.
B. Achievement of the signature campaign for the "Appeal from Hiroshima
Prior to the above signature campaign, Japan Gensuikyo had worked since
1985 on the signature campaign in support of the "Appeal from Hiroshima
and Nagasaki for a Total Ban and the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons".
This signature campaign was launched by the representatives of anti-nuclear
peace movements of 12 countries, including Japan Gensuikyo, on the 6th
and 9th of February 1985. The signatures collected for this appeal exceeded
61 million (out of Japan's population of 127 million), and in 800 local
municipalities, including 17 prefectures (Kyoto, Osaka, Tokyo and others)
more than half of their citizens signed the appeal. This extensive "Appeal"
signature campaign contributed greatly to the enhancement of public opinion
demanding the abolition of nuclear weapons, as evidenced by the growing
number of nuclear-free declaration municipalities. Currently, more than
70% of the Japanese people live in such municipalities.
Also, the 1987 World Conference against A & H Bombs called for the
"Peace Wave" international joint actions, where the "Appeal"
signature campaign was carried out as a common form of action across the
world. The "Peace Wave" action was called for several times,
culminating in the "Peace Wave to Commemorate the 50th Anniversary
of the Atomic Bombing" in 1995, and the "Appeal" signature
campaign was carried out in more than 60 countries on all continents.
4) Nuclear-free Local Municipality Movement and "Nuclear-Free Kobe
The number of nuclear-free declaration municipalities now amounts to 2600
out of 3300 local governments, and in 17 prefectures all the local municipalities
have declared themselves nuclear-free. This means that 70% of the Japanese
people now live in nuclear-free cities or towns. These nuclear-free municipality
governments are working on the promotion of peace education (organizing
meetings to listen to the Hibakusha, A-bomb photo exhibitions, etc) or
legislating peace ordinances.
It was during the periods from 1984 to 1985, and also around 1996 when
the number of these nuclear-free governments showed rapid increase. Japan
Gensuikyo started the movement to create nuclear-free municipalities in
1982. The "Appeal" signature campaign, which started in 1985,
gave impetus to the nuclear-free local authorities movement, helping to
strengthen public opinion for the abolition of nuclear weapons from the
An important product in this movement is the Nuclear-Free Kobe Formula,
which was established in 1975 in Kobe. With this formula, incoming foreign
military ships are mandated to submit a certificate of non-presence of
nuclear weapons on board. After World War II, Kobe Port of Hyogo Prefecture
was placed under full occupation of U.S. military until 1951 and from
1952 it was used as a base for the U.S. 7th Fleet. The number of portcalls
of U.S. warships between 1960 and 1974 amounted to 432. The people of
Kobe started a movement to oppose the military use of the port and demanded
the return of Kobe Port to the citizens. With this movement as a background,
a progressive mayor was elected in 1973. Under his administration, the
Kobe City Assembly in 1975 unanimously adopted the "Resolution Concerning
the Refusal to Entry of Warships Carrying Nuclear Weapons." Since
then, the Nuclear-Free Kobe Formula has been supported and protected by
the efforts of the people, despite repeated attacks and pressure from
the Japanese and U.S. governments. Efforts are also being made in other
port cities to adopt this formula or establish a non-nuclear port ordinance.
5) Related Struggles and Activities in Japan
In the midst of growing opposition to the war on Iraq, Japan was among
the very few countries to voice clear support for the U.S., demonstrating
once again its clear subordination to U.S. policy. Prime Minister Koizumi
accepts the U.S. strategy of preemptive attack and the use of nuclear
weapons as "options". Even in the U.N. sessions, from the position
of accepting the possible use of nuclear weapons, Japan abstained from
voting on resolutions for the abolition of nuclear weapons, clearly betraying
the general public of the A-bombed country and despite the war-renouncing
Article 9 of its constitution.
The current attempt of the Japanese government to force the legislation
of the 'contingency law' is aimed to establish a system to involve Japan
fully in U.S.-led wars. With the "Secret Nuclear Agreement"
between the two governments and more frequent visits to Japan of U.S.
nuclear-powered submarines capable of launching nuclear attacks, the danger
is increasing that Japan will be made a sortie base for preemptive nuclear
attacks on other countries.
Japan Gensuikyo demands that the Japanese government stop its war cooperation
and subordination to the U.S. Severely denouncing the Japanese Government
for its acceptance of the U.S. preemptive strike policy and the policy
of the use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states, Japan Gensuikyo
urged the Japanese government to act responsibly as the government of
the country which experienced the suffering caused by a nuclear attack.
Relief for the Hibakusha and Solidarity with the Nuclear Victims of the
Upholding the work of relieving and supporting the Hibakusha as one of
its fundamental aims since its founding, Japan Gensuikyo has worked together
with the A-bomb survivors to inform the public in Japan and internationally
of the damage and after-effects of the atomic bombing, of the current
situation of the Hibakusha and the appeals that they are making, and to
demand justice and compensation for the Hibakusha and to appeal for the
creation of a nuclear weapon-free world.
On the eve of the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombing, currently the
Hibakusha are collectively filing their applications for the official
recognition of having A-bomb related diseases, and preparing to file lawsuits
against the Japanese government for rejecting their applications. They
are not only demanding the correction of the government's cold-hearted
administration of the relief of and compensation for the suffering of
the surviving Hibakusha, but they are also waging a struggle on behalf
of those who have perished and can no longer speak to hold the perpetrators
responsible for the atomic bomb attacks on them, and they are working
to open up a world without nuclear weapons. Japan Gensuikyo and all its
local organizations are giving full support to these Hibakusha's desires,
campaigns and lives.
As part of the activities to disseminate the truth of the atomic bombing
of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and of the situation and struggles of the Hibakusha,
Japan Gensuikyo has organized a gift campaign to send sets of A-Bomb photo
panels to many peace groups and educational institutions all over the
world. When India and Pakistan conducted nuclear tests in 1998, an intensive
campaign was carried out to send these photos to the two countries, helping
the people to dissuade their governments from possessing nuclear weapons.
In the solidarity movement for the world nuclear victims, Japan Gensuikyo
has sent a number of delegations to communities which have become victims
of nuclear tests and nuclear development, including the Marshall Islands,
Downwind areas of Nevada Test Site, Semipalatinsk, Tahiti, and Fiji. The
delegation members included doctors and scientists with professional knowledge
on the issue to investigate and help with the health and radiation situation
of the local people. At every year's World Conference, representatives
of nuclear victim communities make appeals to the world in regard to their
suffering and for solidarity and exchange information on their struggles.
Looking to 2004, the 50th anniversary of the Bikini Tragedy, a project
is going on in the Republic of Marshall Islands to set up a "Rongelap
Peace Museum" in its capital Majuro to display the damage and suffering
of the people of Rongelap Atoll, who have been severely affected by the
deadly fallout from the test. Japan Gensuikyo is involved in the movement
and calls for world-wide support for this project.
International Activities for Nuclear Weapons Abolition
Japan Gensuikyo is a member of the International Peace Bureau and the
Special NGO Committee for Disarmament (Geneva) and other international
networks and is taking initiatives in international arenas for the abolition
of nuclear weapons.
A Gensuikyo delegation is sent to every U.N. General Assembly session,
monitoring the discussion at the First Committee on disarmament issues,
and exchanging views with and submitting requests to the mission of many
countries in New York for the adoption of resolutions for the elimination
of nuclear weapons.
At the 13th Conference of Heads of States and Governments of the Non-Aligned
Movement held from the 20th to 26th of February in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia,
Japan Gensuikyo was registered as an official guest organization to the
Conference, where the representative of Gensuikyo conveyed a message to
all the heads of states in the Conference.
Japan Gensuikyo is a federated body of 60 national organizations, including
youth, women, labor, medical institutions and others with a combined membership
of 2.5 million. There are prefectural and local Gensuikyo organizations
in all 47 prefectures affiliated to Japan Gensuikyo.
Japan Council against A & H Bombs (Japan Gensuikyo)
2-4-4 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8464 Japan
Tel: 81-3-5842-6034 Fax: 81-3-5842-6033