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Japan Gensuikyo's National Conference Devoted to the 2005 Bikini Day
Keynote Speech

Hiroshi TAKA, Secretary General

Dear guests and delegates,

On behalf of the Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo), I want to warmly welcome you to this Gensuikyo Conference.

Let Us Rally the Broadest Public Opinion of this A-bombed Country in Support of the Call for "Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, Now!"

Now, in this 60th year since the A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, people around the world are rising in action, looking to the next Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty scheduled for May 2-27 in New York, and further to the 60th year of the A-bomb tragedies of the two cities in early August. The governments of the New Agenda Coalition (NAC) and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) countries, the driving force that enabled an agreement on the elimination of nuclear weapons by the nuclear weapons states, five years ago, are urging for the agreement to be seriously addressed. The Malaysian government, on behalf of the Non-aligned Movement, is calling for the start of negotiations on a treaty leading to the abolition of nuclear weapons. As Ambassador De Alba of Mexico announced in the 2004 World Conference against A and H Bombs, the Mexican government will host a conference of the 108 nuclear weapons-free zones member countries in April to press for the agreed items of the previous NPT review conferences to be implemented. To the call of the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki for the abolition of nuclear weapons by 2020, the conference of the US mayors and many other local governments around the world have expressed their support.

"Abolition 2000", the global network of the anti-nuclear movements, and the World Social Forum held towards the end of January in Porto Alegre appealed for a worldwide actions on May 1, the eve of the next NPT Review Conference, and again on August 6 and 9 this year. The United for Peace and Justice of the USA and anti-nuclear peace movements around the world are planning to rally in New York, as well as in many other cities in the world for one common goal of "Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, Now".

When the world stands for action, the role we should play is clear. As a movement that has always worked with the Hibakusha in calling for a total ban and the elimination of nuclear weapons, let us join them by doing all that we can to swiftly build up overwhelming public opinion demanding from the nuclear weapons states the implementation of the "unequivocal undertaking" of the abolition of nuclear weapons and from the Japanese government a specific role to be played to this end.

When the US conducted a hydrogen bomb test at the Bikini Atoll on March 1 51 years ago, peace workers of those days spared no time to rise in action. They collected over 32 million signatures, which represented more than a half of the total number of then Japanese voters. Their action encouraged people in Japan and the world in the desire for a ban on nuclear weapons. Based on this historic lesson of the Bikini Day, let us concentrate our energy for the coming two months in building anti-nuclear weapon consensus through the signature campaign demanding "Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, Now", and build mounting signatures in front of the UN Headquarters on May 2, the first day of the next NPT Review Conference.

The Nuclear Policy of the US Administration Leads to Further Isolation

In the very closing year of the 20th century, which witnessed the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the humans finally arrived at a vital conclusion embodied by the "unequivocal undertaking" by Nuclear Five to accomplish the "Complete Elimination" of nuclear weapons, which was agreed upon by consensus by the 187 then NPT members. Then, why has it not been implemented?
First, it is because the United States under the Bush Administration has adopted the position that the military power is the only guarantee to its own security, and that it will respond to anyone to whom it choose to direct a spearhead at with the overwhelming force, with all its options, conventional and nuclear, on their table. It has given a new role to the nuclear arsenal, and is working to render it "usable".

In fact, President Bush declared in his State of the Union Address on Feb. 3 that it would indefinitely continue its occupation and military operation in Iraq, added anew the "tyranny" to its enemy list of "terrorists" and those "seeking WMD", and boasted that "America will stand with the allies,c with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world". Promoting the development of mini nukes and the Missile Defense" program, the Bush Administration has made clear that it would invalidate the agreements of the previous NPT review conferences, including their undertaking of the elimination of nuclear weapons and even their commitment to Negative Security Assurance, the promise of no-use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons states.

This position of reliance on the use of force and the nuclear arsenals cannot but them to the further isolation from the rest of the world and the subsequent bankruptcy. This has been repeatedly proved by the overwhelming opposition of the people throughout the world against the attack on Iraq, subsequent quagmire in which the US forces are trapped in Iraq, and wide spread opposition to the Bush Administration's nuclear policy. In the session of the UN General Assembly in last December, a resolution by the New Agenda Coalition emphasizing the "unequivocal undertaking" by the nuclear weapons states obtained the support from 151 countries as against mere 6 oppositions. Even of the NATO members, many voted in favor. There is further encouraging news. Two days ago, Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin announced that Canada refused to participate in the US-led Missile Defense Program.
Let us accelerate this process. Building up the widest possible support for a nuclear weapon-free world, let us move forward toward opening a new page in history.

Getting Japan Out of "Nuclear Umbrella" to Make It Contribute to a Nuclear Weapon-Free World

Another important task facing us is to make the Japanese Government play a proper role in ridding the world of nuclear weapons.
Let us look at recent development. Early this month, Ambassador Duarte of Brazil, who will preside the coming NPT review conference, came to Japan as part of his plan to visit the US, Russia, other nuclear weapons and non-nuclear states to ensure the success in the review conference in terms of both nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. The Mexican Government announced that it would host a conference of nuclear weapon-free zones members in April. The mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are busily visiting many countries to build momentum for the abolition of nuclear weapons. But are these not the role to be played by the Japanese Government, which is in a unique position as one that represents the only A-bombed country, which has the three non-nuclear principles of not possessing, not manufacturing and not allowing the bringing-in of nuclear weapons, and which has an obligation to abide by the Constitution proclaiming the renunciation of war?

Actually, while speaking about the "undertaking" of the abolition of nuclear weapons, the Japanese government has never urged the nuclear weapons states to implement it. Not only has it always cast abstention vote on the resolutions calling for a treaty or even a negotiation for a ban on nuclear weapons, but it even supports the policy of the "preemptive use" of nuclear weapons and the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons states. It claims that such policies are justified as a part of the "nuclear deterrence". It went as far as to ask the US Administration to maintain the policy of the first use even if a concession of North Korea was envisaged. It happed just prior to the beginning of the Six party Talks on North Korea's nuclear development issues.

At the recent talks of the Japan-US Security Consultative Committee, the Japanese Government supported the Bush Administration's world strategy on the ground that it was to cope with "international terrorism and proliferation of WMD", and confirmed that the Japan-US alliance would undertake a "global" role. It promised to "introduce ballistic missile defense systems" and cooperate with the "realignment for the US force structure in Japan". As regards the nuclear weapons issue, while giving no reference to the "elimination of nuclear weapons", it promised to fully support and cooperate with the US-led counter proliferation operations.

As for the nuclear development of North Korea, the development of nuclear weapons, whether for "defense" or for "deterrence", is totally unacceptable. We strongly demand that North Korea should come back to the framework of the Six Party Talks without delay and endeavor in good faith for a nuclear weapon-free Korean peninsula.

At the same time, the whole process of the problem again demonstrates that a total ban on nuclear weapons is the only true solution to the nuclear proliferation issues. If one clings to its own nuclear weapons, or relies on the so-called "nuclear umbrellas" provided by a nuclear weapons state and collaborate with a nuclear blackmailing, no one else can be convinced by its call for the renunciation of nuclear development. On the other hand, if the Nuclear Five, having over 30,000 warheads around the world, switch the course towards a total ban on nuclear weapons and actually set out their effort, the current problem of nuclear proliferation undoubtedly will move towards all out solution.

From this viewpoint, let us build up the broadest possible opinion to urge the Japanese Government to endeavor for a total ban on nuclear weapons and to move out of the US "nuclear umbrella" by honoring the Japanese Constitution and enacting the three non-nuclear principles into a binding law.

Worldwide Solidarity of Grassroots Movements to Bring a Nuclear-Weapon Free World to Reality

Now I want to move to the proposals for action, which you will discuss at this Gensuikyo Conference. I will make three points as our priority activities discussed by the National Directors Board meeting held in Tokyo early February.
First, we must build a broadest possible support for the abolition of nuclear weapons by May 2, the first day of the review conference, and make it reflected in the number of the signatures collected in support of the "Abolition Now" petition. This campaign is rapidly gathering momentum. Of nearly 3,000 Japanese municipalities, the number of governors, mayors and chairpersons of local assemblies who signed the petition have already exceeded 1150. High spirited campaigns with encouraging outcomes are increasing. In Kumamoto, some 2,000 citizens signed in two hours street signature drive on Feb. 6; in Imaichi, a conservative area in Tochigi Prefecture, the mayor, local assembly members and local government workers and the staff of the agricultural cooperatives all appended their signatures. Each step taken leads to bring about a change in region, country and the world.

Adding to this, I want to emphasize one more important role played by the ban-A-&-bombs movement. Given the Self-Defense Forces operating in Iraq and the dangerous move for revising the Japanese Constitution, our movement must build up and consolidate the public opinion for the abolition of nuclear weapons and for peace to such extent that will help foil steps that will get Japan into war. To block the road to war, let us study, discuss and work very hard to collect the minimum of 12 million signatures for the "Abolition, Now" appeal, which will certainly reinforce the opinion in defense of the Constitution.

Second is about our activities for the success in the 2005 World Conference against A and H Bombs in commemoration the 60th year of the A-bombings. If our present campaign bears fruits, we will have a promising outcome in international politics. Yet, if so, we will then need even bigger and stronger movement to ensure that the outcome will be implemented. However, if nuclear weapons states leaders are adamant in sticking to their nuclear privileges and stay in a position of backlash resisting the progress in history, we will have to build even bigger and much stronger movement to further isolate them. In either case, the 2005 World Conference must serve as a place to generate broader cooperation between governments, local governments, NGOs and anyone else that stands for the abolition of nuclear weapons, as well as the broadest possible solidarity between grassroots peace movements worldwide. I want to take the liberty to call on every organization and individual who desire for the elimination of nuclear weapons to promote cooperation between us beyond differences of opinion and beyond any other past problems.

I also ask you that through the signature campaigns, peace marches and all other activities leading to the World Conference, you will form, activate or strengthen the local Gensuikyo at each region, so that it will ensure vibrant and joyful activities.

As the last point to be made, I want to make a special appeal for your support of the Hibakusha in their lawsuits demanding the state recognition of their disease as having been caused by the atom bombs. The lawsuits are filed by 166 sufferers in 18 prefectures. Their aim is at an improved Hibakusha-aid administration, but in a larger sense, through their lawsuits they want to make known to the whole human race that humans cannot coexist with nuclear weapons. With the prevention of nuclear war and the elimination of nuclear weapons, the "relief and solidarity with the Hibakusha" is one of our three basic objectives. As such organization carrying these goals, let us respond to their intense desire, by ensuring their appeal to be heard on every available occasion, collecting signatures in support of their lawsuits and organizing fundraising at every place where Gensuikyo is present. I conclude my report by hoping you will have pleasant, joyful and encouraging discussions for two days from now. /c


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