Statement: Yasui Masakazu, Secretary General, Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo)

1.  Responding to North Korea’s nuclear and missile development, the U.S. Trump Administration is reportedly deploying two destroyers carrying Tomahawk missiles and a carrier strike group of USS Carl Vinson in the sea around North Korea, setting heavy bombers at Guam on standby alert and even moving to board nuclear warheads on US warships. North Korea is also strengthening its posture of countering these moves, saying, “…we will respond to full-out war with full-out war and to nuclear war with our style of nuclear strike warfare” (Choe Ryong Hae, Workers’ Party of Korea Vice Chairman, April 15). Such dangerous exchange of military responses might increase the danger of a possible use of nuclear weapons and lead to grave consequences for this region and the world as a whole. Deeply concerned about the current situation, we call on the international community to bring the problem to diplomatic and peaceful settlement.

2.  North Korea should definitely stop such dangerous provocative behaviors as nuclear and missile tests. We urge North Korea to accept past United Nations Security Council resolutions on this issue and carry out in good faith all the agreements reached so far on the denuclearize of the Korean Peninsula.

Absolutely no country should use military force, let alone threatening to use nuclear weapons, for the resolution of the dispute. The fundamental rule of solving international conflicts as laid down in the U.N. Charter is to seek diplomatic solution through peaceful means. We call on the parties concerned to stop all kinds of military threats or provocation, to implement sanctions based on the UNSC resolutions and to enter diplomatic dialogues.

3.  It is outrageous that Prime Minister Abe and his government highly appreciated Trump Administration’s dangerous move to use force as “strong commitment” to global and allied security.  Supporting the use of force against North Korea is totally unacceptable, as a blatant infringement of the Constitution of Japan that stipulates “the Japanese people forever renounce war as sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.” It is also a violation of the U.N. Charter that mandates diplomatic settlement of international conflicts.  Needless to say, should an armed conflict arise, it would naturally throw into grave danger the peace and security of the people of Japan that hosts U.S. military bases all over the country. The government of Japan must stop making any words and actions to support or abet the use of force and urge the Trump Administration to engage in diplomatic negotiations with North Korea to achieve denuclearization.

3.  The current heightening of tension and danger involving North Korea again demonstrates the legitimacy and urgency of international efforts to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons. At the United Nations, two-thirds of the member states entered into negotiations on a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons. They are going to conclude the treaty in July on the eve of the 72nd anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

For the sake of achieving the peaceful settlement of the current crisis, the government of Japan, the only country to have suffered the tragedy of atomic bombing, should join the effort to prohibit nuclear weapons, and should call on all the parties, including those involved in the conflict, to work for achieving a total ban on nuclear weapons.

Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo)