Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on August 4 met with the president of the U.N. General Assembly, Miguel D’Escoto, in Tokyo, and they agreed to cooperate with each other in the effort to rouse public support for the total elimination of nuclear weapons. The two discussed broad ranging issues, including international politics, the global economy, and the changes taking place in Latin America.
Shii expressed his warmest welcome to the U.N. General Assembly President’s first attendance at the upcoming peace memorial ceremonies in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, noting that D’Escoto is calling on the world to act to get nuclear weapons abolished and that he stated clearly that the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are an historic tragedy the world must never repeat. Shii said that D’Escoto through his actions encourages the Japanese people as well as atomic bomb survivors (Hibakusha).
D’Escoto said he had come to Japan primarily for the purpose of visiting Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Referring to the fact that a co-pilot of the plane, Enola Gay, that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima was a Catholic, he said the act was in contravention of Christian teaching even though he was obliged to obey the military order.
Shii stressed that the urgent task now is to begin without delay international negotiations for the total elimination of nuclear weapons, which is a universal task. He said, “We ask for your cooperation in this effort.”
D’Escoto responded to Shii by expressing readiness to cooperate in the task of getting nuclear weapons eliminated, which he referred to in his inaugural speech, even after his term of U.N. General Assembly presidency ends on September 15.
He also said he is in agreement with the JCP’s position expressed in Shii’s letter to U.S. President Barack Obama calling for the start of international negotiations for the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
--Akahata, August 5, 2009