Ogata in 2016 Bikini Day event highlights need for nuclear weapons convention

March 1, 2016
As part of the 2016 Bikini Day events, the Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Japan Gensuikyo) held a rally on February 29 in Shizuoka City.

Japanese Communist Party Vice Chair Ogata Yasuo gave a speech as invited guest speaker. He criticized the five major nuclear weapons states (the United States, Russia, Britain, France, and China) for trying to obstruct the momentum of international movements opposing nuclear arms.

Ogata pointed out that in the 2015 review conference of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, 80% of the NPT member countries agreed on the need to put a legal ban on nuclear weapons and that the UN General Assembly in December 2015 adopted a resolution to set up a working group to discuss a legal framework to achieve a world free from nuclear bombs. Ogata said that these are important achievements attributable to the work of anti-nuke movements.

Ogata went on to say that the above-mentioned five countries have issued a joint statement to voice their opposition to the move to establish a legal framework. This means, he added, nuclear weapons states have been pushed into the corner.

The JCP vice chair stressed that Japanese anti-nuke activists should keep working to raise international awareness of the inhumane nature of nuclear weapons and should help start negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention.

Kido Sueichi of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo) at the rally said, “We, Hibakusha, want a world without nuclear weapons. We want no more Hibakusha. To achieve these goals, this year, we will call on people across the world to work with us on our signature collection drive,” and received enthusiastic applause from an audience of 800.

National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) Vice President Nagao Yuri on behalf of the organizers said that she expects this year’s Bikini Day events to give a boost to movements for the elimination of nuclear weapons. Nagao called for increasing efforts to stop the Abe government’s runaway policies, repeal the war legislation, and shut down all nuclear reactors in Japan.

Japan Gensuikyo Secretary General Yasui Masakazu in his keynote address said that Gensuikyo will fully support the proposed signature campaign and cooperate with it. He underscored the need to further promote the ongoing efforts to collect 20 million signatures for a petition to repeal the war legislation.

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