It will soon be 70 years since atomic
bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States. This year also marks the 70th year after the
end of World War II. We the delegates
assembling in the International Meeting of the 2015 World Conference against A
and H Bombs are determined to make this year a point of decisive turn to
achieve a world without nuclear weapons.
The Charter of the United Nations pledged
“to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our
lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind”, and the first resolution of the
U.N. General Assembly called for “the elimination from national arsenals of
atomic weapons”. This is exactly where
post-WWII world politics began. Article
9 of the Japanese Constitution, which provides for the renunciation of war and
non-possession of war potentials, is rooted in both the deep reflection on
Japan’s war of aggression and colonial rule and the cruel experience of the
suffering from the A-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
With the Hibakusha, we say, “No more
wars!” and “No more Hiroshimas or Nagasakis!”
There are still about 16,000 nuclear
warheads in the world. The use of one of
them, even by accident, would cause “hell on earth”, a situation beyond
description. In Hiroshima and Nagasaki a
total of 210,000 people died by the end of 1945, and those who survived in the
moment were later afflicted both mentally and physically. As the Hibakusha warn, the damage to Hiroshima
and Nagasaki shows that nuclear weapons are the “weapons of devil”, with which
humans cannot coexist.
To root out this danger is an urgent task
for world peace and the survival of the human race. In international politics, too, discussions
and understanding on the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear
weapons are increasing, and the determination of not allowing nuclear weapons
to be used ever again is gaining ground.
Now is the time for the peoples, governments and international
organizations to come together to accomplish the prohibition and the
elimination of nuclear weapons without delay.
We regret that the 9th Review Conference
of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (April-May 2015) failed to agree on a final
document due to opposition from the U.S., the U.K. and Canada to the proposed language
on an international conference on a Middle East zone free of nuclear and other weapons
of mass destruction.
The conference, however,
saw a number of important achievements reflecting public opinion and the
movements: The voices calling for legally binding measures to achieve “a world
without nuclear weapons”, including the start of negotiations on a treaty for
the prohibition of nuclear weapons, represented the vast majority states,
driving nuclear powers into a corner. This
was shown by the fact that at the drafting stage of the final document, the
need for a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons was formulated for the first
time. The process to achieve it should
start at the 70th Session of the U.N. General Assembly. Further, as seen in the joint statement on the
humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons, joined by 159 states
representing more than 80% of the parties to the NPT, the demand to prohibit
nuclear weapons from the humanitarian viewpoint was so widespread that even
nuclear powers had to express their “understanding”.
It is more important than anything else to
note that these developments have been supported by the movements and public
opinion around the world. In diplomatic
negotiations on nuclear disarmament, the currents of democracy that bring
together the voices of the majority is developing into a major force. Promoting further this process both at the
grassroots level and in international politics, surrounding the pro-nuclear
forces and increasing pressure on them will make it possible to open a road to
a world without nuclear weapons.
The key to making further progress is to
overcome the “nuclear deterrence” doctrine.
Though achieving “a world without nuclear weapons” was agreed by the
2010 NPT Review Conference, nuclear powers are refusing straightforward
discussion of the abolition of nuclear weapons, relying on their so-called
“step by step” approach. This amounts to
an attempt to maintain their own nuclear forces on the grounds of their
“nuclear deterrence” doctrine, the assumption that their nuclear arsenal is
needed for their own security.
With the heightening
regional tensions involving nuclear powers, there are concerns over the danger
of the use of nuclear weapons. The
modernization of nuclear weapons, their build-up and training exercises, which
squander a vast amount of resources, not only violate the NPT and other
international agreements and their spirit, but also increase the danger of
actual use of nuclear weapons. We
categorically oppose them. The Marshall
Islands’ case filed before the International Court of Justice against
nuclear-armed states for their failure to observe their nuclear disarmament
obligations commands broad support around the world.
The tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
shows that the doctrine of “nuclear deterrence” cannot be justified for any
reason whatsoever. It is important to
press for the start of negotiations on a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons,
revealing the catastrophic consequences the use of nuclear weapons could
cause. We note, in this regard, the fact
that the “Humanitarian Pledge” which seeks “legal measures” for the elimination
of nuclear weapons from the viewpoint of their inhuman nature draws support
from 113 states.
To achieve regional peace and security on
the basis of the peace principles of the U.N. Charter and by non-military means
represents the major current of world opinion.
To resort to deterrence simply generates a vicious circle of tension and
arms build-up. We call for peaceful
settlement of all international conflicts in compliance with international law.
We warmly welcome the final agreement on
Iran’s nuclear program reached through the effort for peaceful solution. We
call for a diplomatic solution of North Korea’s nuclear issue. We support the creation and expansion of
nuclear weapon-free zones. We demand an
international conference for a Middle East zone free of nuclear and other
weapons of mass destruction be promptly convened as agreed upon by the past NPT
The Japanese people’s movement against war
bills, supported by public opinion, is making unprecedented progress. The planned war legislation is intended to
enable Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense and the
Self-Defense Forces to use force abroad in violation of the Japanese
Constitution. This reckless,
anti-democratic action by those in power, who do not admit even the
error of the past war of aggression, is eliciting protests from a broad
range of people. Criticism against the
Japanese government is also developing internationally as well as at home for
its objection to the negotiations for a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, and
for its stance that runs counter to the major world development. Underlying it
is a policy to rely on the “nuclear umbrella” provided by the US and even to
condone the use of nuclear weapons, the attitude that is utterly incompatible
with its position as the only A-bombed country.
Incorporated as it is in the U.S. nuclear strategy under the Japan-U.S.
military alliance, the Japanese government now aims to railroad the war
legislation through the Diet. This is a
truly serious danger.
We express our solidarity with the
movement of Japan to scrap the war bills in defense and advocacy of Japan’s
Constitution, the struggle of Okinawa against the construction of a new U.S.
base and to the movement to achieve a nuclear-free and peaceful Japan.
The essential factor that promotes and
maintains the global progress toward achieving the elimination of nuclear
weapons is the movement of the peoples around the world and the support of
-- Let us increase our efforts to make known
the damage by the A-bombings and build momentum demanding the start of
negotiations for a treaty for the prohibition of nuclear weapons. Exhibitions on the A-bomb damage everywhere
in the world and signature campaigns that connect each individual citizen to
the worldwide movement will serve as its mainstays. The International Day for the Total
Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, Disarmament Weeks and other U.N.-related occasions
should be made good opportunities to develop joint actions.
-- Let us continue to extend our support
and solidarity with the Hibakusha, whose average age has now reached 80, and
help them to win their demand for State compensation. We must inherit from the Hibakusha
their memories of experiences and struggles.
Let us strengthen our relief and solidarity with the nuclear victims,
including those of nuclear tests and nuclear power plant accidents. Let us strengthen our support to the victims
of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident and develop solidarity
with the movements for ZERO nuclear power plants. Let us support the victims of Agent Orange,
depleted uranium and other war atrocities.
We will work in solidarity
with the people who stand up against war, for peace, for the solution of
poverty and social inequality, for the reduction of military expenditures, for
people’s livelihood, jobs and social welfare, for freedom and democracy, for climate
change prevention and protection of global environment, for overcoming sexual
and all other types of discrimination, and against social injustice. Together, let us move forward to achieve a
“nuclear weapon-free, peaceful and just world”.
Meeting, 2015 World Conference against A and H Bombs