Japan Council against A & H Bombs (Japan Gensuikyo)
71st National Board Meeting, January 30-31, 1999
With 21st century just around the corner, the task to free the human race from the menace of nuclear weapons is coming near the time of special significance. As manifestly demonstrated through the recent nuclear tests by India and Pakistan, those forces clinging to nuclear weapons are faced with ever more deepening contradictions. Today, unprecedented number and range of people both at home and abroad are voicing their opposition to the nuclear deterrence and other policies designed to defend the nuclear monopoly system, and are calling for immediate measures to be taken for the total elimination of nuclear weaponry. It is the prime responsibility that our generation, especially the world anti-nuclear peace movements, bear for our future generations, to develop the current situation toward the nuclear abolition and realize a 21st century free of nuclear weapons.
Striving against the current of the world, the governments of the United States and Japan are not only turning their back on the nuclear abolition but are eager to further incorporate Japan into dangerous first-strike and nuclear strategies of the U.S. under the new "Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation". Building a peaceful Japan in the 21st century free of nuclear weapons is our essential task to achieve peace in Asia and the world.
Acknowledging that we are at a major turning point in history, we believe that it is the duty of Japan Gensuikyo to take the initiative in the effort to achieve this historic goal and build a surge of public opinion against the pro-nuclear politics, especially here in Japan. During the final 2 years of the 20th century, let us build up the powerful movement and cooperationfor creating a new era, in solidarity with struggles against legislation of the "Guidelines", and for people-oriented national and local politics.
Nuclear tests by India and Pakistan exposed to the world the fundamental contradiction of the NPT regime, which permits monopoly of nuclear weapons by the five nations, together with the danger of a new nuclear arms buildup. The urgency of the task of abolishing these weapons has been brought into sharp relief again. As we have pointed out in a number of occasions, including the time of indefinite and unconditional extension of the NPT in 1995 and at the 2nd Preparatory Committee for the Review Conference of the NPT in April last year, it has become clear that such a regime condoning nuclear monopoly by the limited few states not only failed to lead to a nuclear-weapons free world, but was incapable of preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons itself.
Japan Gensuikyo and the Japanese anti-nuclear movements have expressed oppositions to the Indian and Pakistani nuclear tests. At the same time, making it clear that the only solution to the problem lies in total elimination of nuclear weaponry, we have called on peoples and all governments of the world to take action accordingly. The 1998 World Conference against A and H Bombs adopted a letter addressed to the governments of all countries of the world. The letter urged that the nuclear weapons countries take pledge for the abolition of nuclear weapons without delay and start negotiations for their time-bound elimination. It also urged that all the other governments take the initiative for the abolition of nuclear weapons and that any plan for nuclear weapons possession be abandoned. To India and Pakistan, we sent out a number of materials for public information and education, including the A-bomb photo sets and video tapes, encouraging peace and anti-nuclear movements and public opinion of the two countries. The calls for the abolition of nuclear arms and demands on the nuclear weapons countries to make decision to meet this end have spread and developed among peace and anti-nuclear movements across the globe as their unshakable demand, to which our activities contributed.
There are some new moves emerging in the arena of international politics.
Following the previous years, the 53rd General Assembly of the United Nations adopted by large majority the resolution initiated by the non-aligned countries calling for swift start of negotiations leading to the abolition of nuclear weapons within a limited time frame. Yet another resolution was proposed by the New Agenda Coalition of 7 countries, including Ireland and Sweden, formed beyond the framework of the non-aligned nations. The resolution called upon the nuclear-weapon states gto demonstrate an unequivocal commitment to the speedy and total elimination of their respective nuclear weapons and without delay to pursue in good faith and bring to a conclusion negotiations leading to the elimination of these weaponsh and was adopted with overwhelming majority. Except for China the nuclear-weapon states persistently opposed the resolution. It should be noted that the United States tenaciously pressed the NATO member countries to vote against the resolution. But the outcome of the votes turned different from usual: Twelve out of 16 NATO member states abstained, instead of voting against the resolution. The NAC initiative also gained support from the European Parliament in its resolution. In Canada, the Canadian House of Commonsf Standing Committee on Foreign Affaires and International Trade submitted a report on the review of the nuclear policy to its government, which recommended that the government encourage the nuclear-weapon states to conclude negotiations leading to the elimination of nuclear weapons. In the United States, some Democrat members of the House of the Representatives introduced a resolution to the Congress that urged an early conclusion of a nuclear weapons convention. In other countries, similar opinions are being raised by parliamentalians as well as from government officials.
As we can see from aforementioned events, today public and international
politics are very critical of the nuclear weapons states trying to rationalize
the nuclear weaponry of their own, on the pretext of "deterrence"
or "means of national security", while denying other states to
possess such weapons. Pro-nuclear forces are facing ever more serious contradiction
and their doctrines deeper impasse. The peace and anti-nuclear forces of
the entire world are now urgently required to mobilize public opinion and
movement from grassroots level to press for the complete elimination of
nuclear weapons and to promote international joint struggles.
Given the current situation where the U.S. tries to retain its nuclear weaponry and push ahead with its dangerous nuclear strategy, the policy of first-use of nuclear weapons has become a new point at issue.
While emphasizing the gthreat by rouge statesh instead of the gSoviet threatsh, the United States has maintained dangerous and blatant nuclear doctrines in the name of the "Counterproliferation Strategy", which holds first-use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons countries as an option. The U.S. attack against Iraq last December, allegedly to prevent weapons of mass destruction from spreading, was nothing but the unilateral attack which was enforced by its one-sided judgement. The attacks were carried out in defiance of the U.N. and in violation of international law and rules of democracy. Further, open proclamation by the U.S. to overthrow the Hussein regime revealed the hegemonistic nature of the doctrine. The U.S. also maintains its preemptive attack posture against North Koreafs gsuspected nuclear weapons programh, when it unilaterally deems necessary.
Under such circumstances, there is a growing criticism against the policy of first-use of nuclear weapons. At the 53rd General Assembly of the United Nations, a number of states, including the members of Non-Aligned Movements, called upon the nuclear weapons states to renounce the first- use of nuclear weapons and to pledge their non-use against non-nuclear weapon states. Among the nuclear weapons states, China has given pledge not to be the first to use nuclear weapons. There are new rifts within the NATO. Upon reaching the agreement of the new coalition government, the Foreign minister of Germany made a proposal to revise NATOfs first-use doctrine. The German proposal gained supports from Canada and Denmark at the meeting of the Alliance Foreign Ministers. U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen rebuffed such proposal by saying that the gambiguity involved in the issue of the use of nuclear weapons contributes to our own security, keeping any potential adversarycunsure of what our response would be.h He further asserted that the first-use is gan integral parth of their strategic concept to deal with threats of chemical and biological weapons. His statement revealed that U.S. nuclear weapons also target non-nuclear weapons states, and showed the deepening contradiction in the U.S. nuclear doctrine with other nations.
In its letter to the governments of all countries of the world, the 1998
World Conference against A and H Bombs urged the governments of the nuclear
weapons states to gdeclare no-first-use of nuclear weapons and renunciation
of their use against non-nuclear weapons statesh. Subsequent developments
have shown that we need to continue our focus on this demand with even
The coalition government of the Liberal Democratic Party and the Liberal Party took off on January 14 with the agreement on early legislation to implement the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation during the current Diet session. This makes our struggle to stop it ever more pressing.
This new "Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation" agreed
upon by the two governments conditions unilateral military attack by the
U.S. when it deems there exist events gaffecting peace and security of
areas surrounding Japanh. Such an attack would be a breach of the U.N.
Charter, which provides for self-defense gif an armed attack occursh,
and would also mean incorporating Japan into U.S. preemptive military actions,
which recent U.S. attacks against Iraq and North Korea have demonstrated.
Furthermore, in such preemptive attacks, the U.S. has repeatedly announced
that it "would not exclude the option of using nuclear weapons".
It is crystal clear that the new Guidelines will incorporate Japan deeper
into the U.S. nuclear and fist-strike strategy. Also, with the secret nuclear
agreement between the two governments still in place, as has been substantiated
by U.S. documents, it will further increase the possibility of U.S. nuclear
weapons being brought into Japan.
In anticipation of the legislation of the Guidelines, the two governments
are carrying out joint military exercises across Japan and are enforcing
the use of Japanese ports and airports by U.S. warships and aircraft, which
started way before the guideline bills were tabled for the Diet debate.
The Ministry of Foreign Affaires of Japan is openly interfering with and
trying to obstruct the Nuclear-Free Kobe Formula, which has been maintained
for the past 24 years and Kochi Prefecturefs endeavor to pass an ordinance
to establish nuclear-weapon free ports, in line with Japanfs Three Non-Nuclear
Principles. U.S. military bases in Japan are being consolidated across
the country, as seen in the reconstruction work at the U.S Yokosuka base
to host a future nuclear powered aircraft carrier, and a new base construction
plan in Okinawa on the pretext of withdrawing an old base.
The new Guidelines is not only incompatible with the U.N. Charter or the Constitution of Japan, but if implemented, it may also endanger safety and lives of the Japanese people as well as peace of Asia. Japan Gensuikyo, as part of the National Liaison Committee against Guidelines and Related Laws, will inform as many people as possible of the formidable danger of the Guidelines, and will strive to develop the struggle to prevent the legislation. We will also mobilize wide range of pubic opinion against bringing-in of nuclear weapons into Japan and develop the movement for the introduction of the Nuclear-Free Kobe Formula all over the country, including Kochi.
The Japanese government is increasing its pro-nuclear stance, keeping pace
with the development after it adopted the dangerous new Guidelines for
military cooperation. During his response to the interpellation in the
Diet last August, Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi did not hide his hostility
to the abolition of nuclear weapons. Asked why his government opposed to
the U.N. resolutions calling for nuclear abolition with a specific framework
of time, Obuchi answered that gsuch resolutions would aggravate confrontations
and impede the progress for nuclear disarmamenth. The answer was even
worse than the previous response of the government on this issue that such
measures are gnot realistich. At the 53rd General Assembly of the United
Nations where new initiatives emerged and developed toward nuclear weapons
abolition, the government once again abstained from voting on all resolutions
leading to the abolition of nuclear weaponry. Japanfs attitude totally
runs counter to the current global trend for nuclear disarmament. Instead,
the government again introduced a resolution on gnuclear disarmament with
a view to the ultimate elimination of nuclear weaponsh. As evidenced by
the appreciation of the U.S. calling it grealistich, the resolution was
nothing but the attempt of the Japanese government's intention to back
the U.S. by putting off the task of elimination of nuclear arms to an gultimateh
future, while fully exploiting its status as the "government of the
At the root of such attitude is the government policy in favor of the "nuclear
umbrella", that deems the U.S. nuclear deterrents essential to the
security of Japan. Though Prime Minister Obuchi reiterates the necessity
of the U.S. "nuclear deterrence" for national security, the reality
is that far from defending Japan, it will force Japan to cooperate militarily
with the dangerous preemptive attack strategy of the U.S. that might involve
the use of nuclear weapons. In this way, the policy of the Japanese government
is getting further and further contradictory to the desire of the people
of this A-bombed country. We believe it an international duty of the people
and anti-nuclear forces of Japan to refuse such pro-nuclear posture of
our government and to wage struggles to change our national policy in favor
of the abolition of nuclear arms.
The recent rise of voices calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons shows potential for a new development of peace and anti-nuclear movements both at home and abroad. In particular, more and more people now stress the importance of the development of grassroots movement in each country, with their focus on their own government.
In an international conference held on the occasion of the Special NGO Committee for Disarmament - Geneva last fall, one speaker emphasized this point, saying, gNow we need to create the leadership of popular movement. Let us rebuild a strong movement like the one in Japan. Let us generate the movements from grassroots level also in the NATO member countries to challenge the nuclear policies of their governments.h In the United States where wide range of people, including former military top officials and religionists have began to articulate their views for the elimination of nuclear weapons, people are pointing out to the need to build kinds of movement which take its own government into perspective. In Germany, peace and anti-nuclear movement is rebuilding its strength. Peace movements are making progress in Asia. In India and Pakistan, many are exerting their efforts to develop public opinion against nuclear arms. At a talk held last fall, Japan Peace Committee and Chinese Peoplefs Association for Peace and Disarmament agreed to start bilateral relationship and identified the elimination of nuclear weapons as their common task.
@In Japan, more and more people are engaged in the effort to early achievement of the abolition of nuclear weapons. Beyond the traditional framework, broader cooperation of the movement has developed involving municipal governments, civil groups, trade unions and other people, generating conditions for a nation-wide movement of the people.
Japan Gensuikyo and Japanese anti-nuclear movement must build further progress
on these changes taking place, in order to open the prospect for a nuclear-free
21st century, and must play a much more active role in these efforts.
1) We will promote international joint actions targeting the nuclear weapons
states and the United Nations based on the important current common tasks.
These include the demand for starting of negotiations for the abolition
of nuclear weapons, and opposition to first-use doctrine and subcritical
nuclear tests. Through the signature campaign for the "Appeal from
Hiroshima and Nagasaki", public education on the reality and aftereffects
about the atomic bombing, and the participation in the Hague Appeal for
Peace Conference, etc, we will build public opinion and movements for the
elimination of nuclear weaponry and strengthening of solidarity among international
2) We will strengthen solidarity with anti-nuclear peace forces around the world. In parallel with our effort to work in solidarity with the movements in the U.S. and other nuclear weapons states, this year, we will focus our efforts on strengthening the relationship with peace forces in the Asian region. Our international activities will include a visit to China, the participation in the Asia-Pacific Conference of the World Peace Council (March 1999 in Hanoi, Vietnam), where the abolition of nuclear weapons is set as one of the important themes, and solidarity actions with Indian and Pakistani anti-nuclear movements.
3) As our work in 1999, as part of the "International Joint Action for a Nuclear-Free 21st Century" which will last until the end 2000, we will call on the anti-nuclear and peace forces of the world to take actions during the 1999 Hiroshima-Nagasaki Days as well as the 1999 United Nations Disarmament Week in October. In Japan, we will spread the voice of "No More Hiroshimas and Nagasakis" throughout the country during the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Days. During the U.N. Disarmament Week, we will mobilize people for a wide-range of collaboration through grassroots activities to develop our demand and movement addressed to the governments and the United Nations. Japan Gensuikyo must play the role of driving force of the activities. As part of the international joint actions through the end of 2000, local Gensuikyo organizations in all prefectures and municipalities should set their action plans, whose success would generate more conditions for surrounding and isolating pro-nuclear political forces and turning the situation in favor of our goals. These plans should include the A-bomb photo exhibitions; collection of signatures for the "Appeal" from majority of the people of the communities; promotion of local assembly resolutions to demand a nuclear weapons abolition convention; criticizing the pro-nuclear policy of the Japanese government; and creation of nuclear-weapons free municipalities and ports.
1) The 1999 World Conference against A and H Bombs will be the place to
bring together the above activities and identify the direction to achieve
a nuclear weapon-free 21st century, and to further advance joint efforts
for the abolition of nuclear weapons at home and internationally. We will
bring the conference to a success by ensuring participation of broad range
of forces, based on the development of the movements at grass roots level.
Schedule of the Conference follows: International Meeting on Aug. 3 to
5; Hiroshima Rally on Aug. 5 and 6; and 1999 World Conference against A
and H Bombs-Nagasaki on Aug. 7 to 9.
2) Japan Gensuikyo will aim to organize 8,000 delegates to the Conference from across Japan. Each prefectural Gensuikyo and member organization needs to set its own goal of the number of delegates. In our fundraising work for the World Conference, we should reach out to as many people as possible in our communities, workplaces and on school campuses. Stressing importance on the education and publicity work, we will distribute the "1999 World Conference Booklet" on a large-scale, and promote the use of the video on the 1998 World Conference.
3) The success of the 1999 Nationwide Peace March, which would be organized toward the 1999 World Conference, should be achieved with enough scale and content to meet the current present situation, with the cooperation with citizens organizations.
1) We must multiply our efforts to criticize Japanese governmentfs policies
on nuclear weapons, such as its attitudes at the United Nations unbecoming
of the A-bombed country. We must also inform the public about the dangerous
mechanism of the New Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation, which
would incorporate Japan further into U.S. nuclear strategies. We must stop
the legislation to implement the Guidelines with all our efforts. Special
effort needs to be exerted to get nuclear-free declared municipalities
to adopt the resolution against the legislation of the Guidelines.
2) The Nuclear-Free Kobe Formula, the crossing point of the anti-nuclear desire and opposition to the Guidelines, should spread across the country. Struggle of Kochi to establish nuclear-free ports should be supported nation-wide. Our movements for nuclear-free declaration municipality need to progress through broad cooperation of the local people concerned. The current situation of the nuclear-free municipality movement in different places should be surveyed for further networking among such movements.
3) Recently we hear opinions from people of various walks of life on the need for Japan to get out of the U.S. nuclear umbrella. This is a task indispensable for achieving a nuclear weapon-free Japan and establishing a nuclear-free zone in Northeast Asia. We must build stronger public opinion against Japanfs pro-nuclear policies, for the abrogation of the governmentfs secret nuclear agreement with the U.S., and for the legislation of Japanfs Three Non-Nuclear Principles. 4) Along with the progress in such fields we must enhance public opinion for the withdrawal of U.S. military bases and abrogation of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. We must achieve success in the 1999 Japan Peace Conference, the Oct. 21 Nation-wide United Action against Security Treaty and other events.
1) We must increase our efforts to make known the damage and aftereffects
of the atomic bombings and nuclear testing, in order to build public opinion
and develop collaboration for the elimination of nuclear weapons. In Japan,
we will promote A-bomb photo exhibitions to be held in every town and city,
linking it with people for wider cooperation. We will send 10,000 sets
of the A-bomb photo sets to individuals and organizations overseas.
2) Successive victories at the Nagasaki A-bomb Matsuya Case and the Kyoto A-bomb Lawsuit have revealed the governmentfs gross disregard to the reality of the A-bomb damage in its administration on the Hibakusha issues. In parallel with promoting the One Million Petition Campaign for a final victory of the Matsuya Case at the Supreme Court, we must expose the problems in the present relief measures for the A-bomb victims, and promote the movement to realize the state compensation for them.
3) Today Hibakusha are getting older and many of them in poor health, which makes the task of protecting their health and livelihood urgent. Contact of local Gensuikyos with the Hibakusha must be maintained, including annual visits at the end of year with a gift of money and organizing regular medical check-ups with special emphasis all over the country. All Gensuikyos in local communities, workplaces and schools must take part in the monthly "6th and 9th Days Action" against nuclear weapons and for the support and solidarity with the Hibakusha. We will work to promote the "20-million Yen Nation-wide Fundraising Campaign for the Support of and Solidarity with the Hibakusha", in all local areas. We will organize the 1999 "National Meeting on the Activities for Support of and Solidarity with the Hibakusha".
1) The success of the 1999 Bikini Day Rally must be achieved as the starter
of this yearfs movements toward advancement of cooperation both at home
and internationally for the elimination of nuclear weapons, 1999 World
Conference against A and H Bombs, and the International Joint Action for
a Nuclear Weapon-Free 21st Century.
2) We must achieve the participation of delegates from every local Gensuikyo from around the country to join the rally and mobilize our grass-roots work accordingly to meet this goal. 3) Member organizations and local councils need to have their own plans for the International Joint Action for a Nuclear Weapon-Free 21st Century ready for discussion at Bikini Day meetings.
1) Through the promotion of the "International Joint Actions for a
Nuclear Weapon-Free 21st Century" we will establish new and reinforce
existing local Gensuikyo organizations, which are the linchpins in changing
the balance of power in all local areas and nationally. For this, the organization
of prefectural Gensuikyos must be reinforced, the administration of Japan
Gensuikyo secretariat improved and its structure strengthened.
2) Local Gensuikyo organizations must be strengthened both in quality and structure, as centers of grassroots activities and as driving forces to change local government policies on nuclear arms. Local Gensuikyos should operate and increase their membership in accordance with "5 Principles of Local Gensuikyos' Activities": a) Management in compliance with set rules; b) Establishment of institutional structure with responsible officials; c) Payment of membership fee and subscription of Gensuikyo Tsushin (newsletter); d) Holding of monthly seminar or official meeting and e) Promotion of regular activities, including Monthly 6th and 9th Days Actions.
3) Gensuikyo seminars and educational activities should be conducted on a regular basis at local communities, workplaces and colleges by making use of the video on the 1998 World Conference, the booklet for the World Conference and Gensuikyo Tsushin newsletter, in order to encourage the involvement of young generations in the movement and train future activists among them.
4) We will launch a special drive to expand the subscription of our monthly newsletter "Gensuikyo Tsushin", among all member organizations and local Gensuikyo officials, before and through the 1999 Bikini Day events.
5) Recognizing the crucial importance of fundraising activities, including the distribution of "Chihiro Calendars", we must be more successful in the sales of the calendars.
6) Our finance and accounting system needs to be improved along with necessary measures involved in the revision of the fiscal year.
7) We must succeed in the fundraising campaign to build a new secretariat office as the national center of Gensuikyo's movement.
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