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 gAppealh. 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
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 Iraqfs weapons of mass destruction,
Iraq developed and actually used both chemical and biological
the result of the Gulf War, fought due to Iraqfs aggression
against Kuwait, it accepted a series of UN Security Council
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 Iraqfs WMD has been destroyed;
the Secretary General of IAEA reported that inspections
of Iraqfs 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
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 gthreath,
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 Cabinetfs 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
Prime minister Koizumi claims almost at every
occasion that Japanfs national interest lies in the gbalance
between the Japan-US alliance and our international cooperationh. 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 gdeterrenceh.
Tetuzo Fuyushiba, the secretary general of Komeito,
another government party, even blamed the growing peace
movements in the world for gbenefiting the adversaryh.
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 Principlesh
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
Bushfs 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 Koizumifs 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 demonstrationh.
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
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
Womenfs Day on March 8 and International Action Day on March
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