“Harry Truman opened a Pandora’s box 68 years ago when he dropped the bomb here at Nagasaki, and Hiroshima. Pandora’s box means, problems that beset the world are still enormous. We still have 17 thousand plus nuclear weapons in the world.“

Renowned US filmmaker Oliver Stone visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki for the first time in August this year, participating in memorials to mark the 68th anniversary of the 1945 atomic bombings. As well as touring the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Museum and meeting with Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors), Stone spoke at several large scale events calling for nuclear weapons abolition. There, he met with many ICAN partners and supporters, including participating in a panel discussion with ICAN Co-Chair Akira Kawasaki of the Japan-based NGO Peace Boat.

Reflecting upon the current critical situation of nuclear weapons worldwide and the historical background as outlined in his recent book and accompanying documentary “Untold American History,” Stone said, “Nuclear abolition is certainly an ideal, and we’re all for it. We know that these 17 thousands weapons can destroy the world many times over.”

ICAN’s Kawasaki, in a panel discussion with Oliver Stone, stressed the role of civil society in bringing the message of Hiroshima and the reality of the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons to the global debate. The day ended with Stone, Kawasaki and other ICAN partners launching lanterns into the river in central Hiroshima, lit with the message of “Take Action for a Nuclear Weapons Ban.”