On Actions for September 26, International Day for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons
September 22, 2014
Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs
The forthcoming September 26 will mark the first International Day for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. In December 2013, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the resolution to declare September 26 as the International Day, based on the outcome of the U.N. High-Level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament held on September 26, 2013.
The resolution underlines the “support expressed at the High-Level Meeting for taking urgent and effective measures” to achieve the total elimination of nuclear weapons, and calls on the international politics for the urgent commencement of negotiations for the early conclusion of a comprehensive convention on nuclear weapons. It also calls on civil society to commemorate and promote the International Day through all means of educational and public awareness-raising activities. In total support of this call, we will take action throughout Japan, including Tokyo.
In May 2010, the Review Conference of the NPT, to which 189 States are parties, agreed by consensus to achieve the “peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” Despite this decision, even after 4 years, the world still sees over 16,000 nuclear warheads deployed or stockpiled, and enormous amount of states budgets are spent on maintaining or modernizing these weapons.
However, the mainstream of the world has changed from that of the “Cold War” era. Most parts of the five continents are now covered by the nuclear weapon-free zones and overwhelming majority of the U.N. Member States are calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. In addition, there is a growing trend in the international political arena to squarely face humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and create consensus of the human race on their elimination.
The next NPT Review Conference will be held at the U.N. in April-May next year. Nuclear-armed states, including the U.S. and Russia, which possess 90% of the global nuclear arsenals, should listen to public voices of the world and immediately take concrete steps to achieve a world without nuclear weapons. We also urge the government of Japan to join the international effort to totally ban nuclear weapons by honoring its own pledge to “strictly observe the Three Non-Nuclear Principles” and breaking away from the “nuclear umbrella.”
The decisive force to achieve a nuclear weapon-free world is the will of civil society and grass-roots actions all over the world. As the Declaration of the 2014 World Conference against A and H Bombs states, aiming at the next NPT Review Conference and to the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 2015, we will strengthen our nation-wide activities and increase mobilization in Japan.
On September 26, we will hold a national conference to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons in the First Office Building of the House of Representatives Members in Tokyo. In the conference, we will learn the damage of Hiroshima and Nagasaki A-bombings from the Hibakusha as well as the initiatives and policies from the government representatives of Mexico and the Marshall Islands. We will also carry out a long-run signature drive for a total ban on nuclear weapons at Ueno, Tokyo. About 100 activists are going to join it.
In concert with this action, local Gensuikyos of all 47 prefectures in Japan made plans to carry out a variety of actions on Sept. 26, with the A-Bomb photo exhibition and the signature drive for the “Appeal for a Total Ban on Nuclear Weapons” as the common forms of actions.
Providing this information on the International Day for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, we sincerely hope that you will join us in the International Day activities and/or take your actions in solidarity with us.
Japan Council against A & H Bombs (GENSUIKYO)
2-4-4 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8464 JAPAN