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Bikini Day

Keynote Speech in the Japan Gensuikyo Conference in Commemoration of the 2003 Bikini Day

By Hiroshi TAKA, Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs

Dear friends, Thank you for your discussions since yesterday.  The March 1 Bikini Day Rally yesterday adopted an excellent gAppealh.  At it says, geach action of each individual taken on each day is affecting the course of history now.h  The worldwide antiwar protests by over 10 million people taken on and around February 15, the public debates of the UN Security Council where the overwhelming majority of governments called for the peaceful resolution to the crisis, and the news this morning that the Turkish Parliament refused the deployment of US forces on its territory are all evidence that by taking action we can change the world.

     Though embarrassed by this development, the Bush Administration still refuses to change its plans to rush into war, and Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly even suggested the possible use of nuclear weapons against North Korea, saying that the US does not exclude any options.  Given this development, I want to emphasize tremendous significance of developing solidarity with peace movements in the USA and the Republic of Korea, and express our deep gratitude to Joseph Gerson, Lee Francis and Park Jung-Eun for their participation in the Gensuikyo Conference.  My thanks also go to Senji Yamaguchi, who came all his way from Nagasaki to attend this Conference, as well as all the other A-bombs sufferers who joined us in the conference.

The Bush Administration Defying the UN Charter

The Bush Administration is desperately trying to open the way for an attack on Iraq.  But its drive for war is accelerating the isolation of the Bush Administration from the rest of the world.  A poll recently conducted in Canada, for example, showed that of the answers to the question: what was the threat to peace, the Bush Administration ranked first, obtaining twice as many votes as Iraq or North Korea, and many times more votes than Al Quaeda.  Why?

First, it is because the preemptive strike strategy sought by the Bush Administration is so unreasonable.  It is the worst form of violation of the UN Charter, which prohibits aggression, to launch an armed attack preemptively on Iraq or on any other country.  And even if a threat is perceived, making a judgment to take steps is exclusively of the discretion of the UN Security Council.  If a military superpower is allowed to make such a decision unilaterally, the rule of peace provided for by the UN Charter will be entirely overturned and the world will be dominated by lawlessness and terror.

Another serious problem is that the Bush Administration is repeatedly announcing that it does not gexclude any option".  We need to recall that it has been a goal of the Bush Administration from the outset to remove the boundary that separates nuclear weapons from conventional weapons, and to render the former usable.  This policy, too, is outrageous.  It would amount to a betrayal of the promise for the complete abolition of nuclear weapons made at the NPT Review Conference in May 2000, as well as the resolution of the UN Security Council adopted in 1995 which bans the use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons states. 

     As regards Iraqfs weapons of mass destruction, Iraq developed and actually used both chemical and biological weapons.  As the result of the Gulf War, fought due to Iraqfs aggression against Kuwait, it accepted a series of UN Security Council resolutions.  In the light of this development, Iraq must cooperate with UN inspections unconditionally.  At the same time, a former UN inspection team member has testified that up to 90% of Iraqfs WMD has been destroyed; the Secretary General of IAEA reported that inspections of Iraqfs nuclear capability would be possible even without the cooperation from the Iraqi side; the UN inspection leader reported that Iraq was more actively cooperating with the inspection; and he called for a continued inspection.  Given all these, it is obviously unjust for the US and the UK to launch a military attack on Iraq unilaterally.

  I want to take up briefly the problem of the nuclear development of North Korea.  As a movement in an A-bombed country, we oppose the development or possession of nuclear weapons by any country whatsoever.  The history of the nuclear arms race shows the reason: the nuclear development of one country triggered others to follow suit; and this process has brought the world to the verge of annihilation.  All the more because an overwhelming majority of governments are endeavoring to make an agreement for a nuclear weapons-free world a reality, North Korea should stop playing up the nuclear development issue as a card of diplomacy and join the effort for the elimination of nuclear weapons.  We strongly demand that all governments concerned make every effort to resolve the problem based on reason and by peaceful means.

     I also want to emphasize that the only way to prevent for sure the proliferation of nuclear weapons is for all the nuclear weapons states, including the USA that holds the major part of the nuclear weapons stockpiled in the world, to take actual steps toward the total elimination of nuclear weapons.  The gross, egoistic claim of nuclear weapons states that while nuclear weapons of other countries are a gthreath, theirs are the guarantee of peace and security has served as an incentive for nuclear proliferation.  Calling attention to this fact, let us increase worldwide pressure for actual steps to be taken for the elimination of nuclear weapons.

The Koizumi Cabinetfs Posture of Putting Priority on the Demand from the US to the Japanese Constitution:  Shame of Japan

   At the very moment when almost everyone in the world is desperately trying to prevent the armed attack of the US and the UK governments on Iraq, the Koizumi government is taking a truly shameful position.  In the latest public debates of the UN Security Council, of the 62 governments that took the floor, only the Japanese and Australian governments expressed support for the US-UK sponsored resolution, even though the text had not yet been submitted.

     Prime minister Koizumi claims almost at every occasion that Japanfs national interest lies in the gbalance between the Japan-US alliance and our international cooperationh.  In terms of the abolition of nuclear weapons, the Japanese government, on the same grounds, has approved the bringing-in of nuclear weapons even by making secret arrangements with the US, abstained from all UN General Assembly resolutions calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons, and even supported the US policy of preemptive use of nuclear weapons, claiming that it is a part of the gdeterrenceh.  Tetuzo Fuyushiba, the secretary general of Komeito, another government party, even blamed the growing peace movements in the world for gbenefiting the adversaryh.  When criticized, he said that he had merely repeated what US Ambassador Baker told him.

     Their attitude is to give priority to the US nuclear strategy over the gThree Non-nuclear Principlesh adopted by the Japanese Diet, attach importance to the Japan-US alliance rather than to the UN Charter that should govern a peaceful world, and give much closer attention to President Bushfs desires rather than to the 80% of the Japanese public that call for a peaceful resolution to the crisis.  It is evident that such an attitude is totally opposite of what it should be as a government representing the people who have Article 9 of the Peace Constitution.  The approval rating for the Koizumi Cabinet is already rapidly falling, particularly since the Iraq problem became an issue.  Let us redouble our effort to reverse the course of Japanese politics to favor peace and oppose nuclear weapons, and fulfill an international responsibility of the Japanese movement for world peace.

Let Us Develop Actions Mobilizing Wishes of People for Peace and against Nuclear Weapons, in Solidarity with the Rest of the World

     I want to make some suggestions on action.  Before us, now, is a danger of war and, at the same time, a hope and new prospects for peace.  The more overbearingly President Bush presses for the war, the more widely the call for a peaceful resolution is spreading.  The results of the recent poll by Asahi-Shimbun, for example, show that 78% of the respondents were against military action against Iraq, that the percentage of those who are for military action even if it is not approved by the UN Security Council, which is Koizumifs position, is a mere 14%, that those who found merit in the political stance of the Koizumi Cabinet represent 18%, and 45% found nothing to merit the Koizumi Cabinet are 45%.  Another survey showed that 7% of respondents expressed their readiness to join an ganti-war demonstrationh.  According to the calculation of Dai Isobe of the Japan Peace Committee, this percentage is equivalent to 8.4 million people in Japan.  So let us make every effort to develop actions that will fully mobilize their desire.

     My first proposal is that we develop swiftly and more widely the struggle against war on Iraq and for peace, in solidarity with movements around the world and in cooperation with a wide-range of people in every region.  For this, we need to take the initiative creatively and in accord with specific conditions at the grassroots level.  As one form of action which anyone could take at any time and in any location, the signature drive for preventing war, opposing the use of nuclear weapons and demanding their abolition should be promoted in every city, town, ward or village throughout Japan.

     Further, as emphasized by overseas friends, let us use all possible forms of action to urge the Japanese government to abide by the Constitution and stop war cooperation, such as collecting signatures, distributing leaflets, petitioning for a resolution by the local assembly and faxing and sending emails to the government.

     Now that the Bush Administration is rushing to war in the UN Security Council, we cannot waste a day.  We, Gensuikyo, will hold a nationwide action on March 6, the first 6th-and-9th days action after Bikini Day, and will visit the Japanese government to present our demand and the collected signatures.  In coordination with this action, I call on you to develop actions centering on the signature campaign against the use of nuclear weapons and for their elimination at major cities in all 47 prefectures.  Let us then further generate waves of peace on International Womenfs Day on March 8 and International Action Day on March 15.

     Second, in this tense situation, the demand and desire of the Hibakusha (the A-bomb sufferers) against the use of nuclear weapons and for their total elimination are all the more illuminating.  Let us build a grassroots network in support of the Hibakusha who are preparing to collectively initiate a lawsuit calling for the recognition of their diseases as ones generated by the atomic bomb.  We also have to accelerate the fact-finding and relief campaign for those who suffered from the Bikini H-bomb test, looking to the 50th anniversary of the blast on March 1, 2004, and ensure the success in the project of building Rongelap Peace Museum in the Marshall Islands, the construction of which will start this coming August.

     For two days, we have engaged in discussions and exchanges of views in order to reach the goal of creating a nuclear weapons-free and war-free world.  Let us turn all that we learned here into actions, and use them in the 2003 Great Peace Marches that will cover almost all cities, towns and villages of the 47 prefectures from the northern end of Hokkaido to the south of Okinawa, to ensure success in the 2003 World Conference against A and H Bombs. /end


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