February 10, 2016
The 77th General Meeting, Organizing Committee of the World Conference against A and H Bombs
The 71st summer since the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 is approaching. It will be a time for people around the world to share the Hibakusha’s aspiration for “No more Hiroshimas, no more Nagasakis, no more Hibakusha”, and to renew their determination to achieve the elimination of nuclear weapons.
From August 2 to 9, 2016 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we will convene the 2016 World Conference against A and H Bombs with the theme, “For a Nuclear Weapon-Free, Peaceful and Just World”. We earnestly call on all of you that aspire for a nuclear weapon-free world to support and endorse the World Conference.
In this 71st year, we are witnessing possibilities and challenges in the world on the abolition of nuclear weapons. The 2015 NPT Review Conference held last spring in New York formally received from civil society millions of signatures in support of a total ban on nuclear weapons. Expressing his full support to their desire, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on all the governments to remove the “shadow of nuclear threat.”
Attuned to the voices of the Hibakusha, a call for the total elimination of nuclear weapons from the perspective of humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons has been growing across the world. In the U.N. General Assembly session held late last year, many resolutions were adopted with over 70% of the member states’ votes, including the ones calling for cooperation in efforts to “stigmatize, prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons” or calling for the urgent commencement of negotiations on a comprehensive convention on nuclear weapons. Soon, a U.N. open-ended working group will be convened to address legal measures to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons, encouraging all governments and civil society to join it.
On the other hand, alarmed by the heightened opinion in favor of the prohibition of nuclear weapons, nuclear-armed states have intensified their justification of the “nuclear deterrence” or “nuclear umbrella” doctrines by insisting that they are a guarantee of security. Actually, these arguments are the source of increasing a danger of nuclear weapons being used, and they are now isolated and dead-end. Also, we strongly condemn a nuclear test conducted by North Korea.
Japan as the only A-bombed nation is expected to play a special role In order to achieve a nuclear weapon-free world. However, at the U.N. General Assembly session last year, the government of Japan chose not to support but abstained on every resolution which called for a ban on nuclear weapons or negotiations to that end. This attitude stems from the same policy the Abe government is forcing through to make Japan a “war-waging country”, destroy Article 9 of the Constitution and to continue to rely on the U.S. “nuclear umbrella”.
In solidarity with the emerging movement to scrap the war laws and restore constitutionalism, we must change the course of Japan to establish a nuclear-free peaceful country.
The 2016 World Conference against A and H Bombs to be convened in the two A-bombed cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, will be a place to make known the inhuman consequences of nuclear weapons and the voices of the Hibakusha to the people in Japan and the rest of the world and to renew our determination to achieve a nuclear weapon-free world. Together with the Hibakusha, the World Conference will launch global grass-roots actions to achieve a total prohibition of nuclear weapons.
Being open to all the people that aspire for the abolition of nuclear weapons, the World Conference will invite representatives from national governments, public institutions, municipal authorities, civil society and grass-roots movements to work together in solidarity. It will also try to develop exchanges among diverse movements in the world which are working for the present and the future.
The World Conference will bring together a broad range of movements working on different issues and demands, including those to scrap the war laws and restore constitutionalism, to defend Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution, to stop construction of a new base in Henoko, Okinawa and remove Futenma Airfield, to support the victims of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, to shift from nuclear power generation to renewable energy, to safeguard people’s life and living, to preserve global environment, and will accelerate a global current to march toward a “nuclear weapon-free, peaceful and just world”.
We sincerely invite all of you to endorse this “Call”, and take part in or send your representative to the World Conference from workplaces, local communities or school campuses all over the world. We also call for your active participation in and support for the signature campaigns for a total ban on nuclear weapons and the ongoing 20-million people petition to repeal the war laws; March 1st Bikini Day events (Shizuoka and Yaizu); and the 2016 Nationwide Peace March which will start on May 6.