JCP Chair Shii issues statement to welcome the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons set to take effect
Chair, Japanese Communist Party
Member of the House of Representatives Japan
October 25, 2020
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons adopted by the UN Conference in July 2017, will go into effect in 90 days under the provisions of the treaty as the 50th country ratified the treaty on October 25(Japan time).
This treaty condemns in its preamble the inhumane nature of nuclear weapons, illegalizes its possession, development, testing, production, the use and the threat to use such weapons, and clarifies a framework for the total elimination of nuclear weapons. It is a landmark international treaty, following the UN General Assembly’s first resolution (January 1946) proposed the elimination of nuclear weapons.
This is a historic achievement by civil society led by the survivors of atomic bombing in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and a majority of governments around the globe pursuing a world without nuclear weapons. As a party that has consistently called for the abolition of nuclear weapons since the end of the World War Ⅱ, the Japanese Communist Party wholeheartedly applauds this achievement.
This achievement was established by overcoming the hostility and obstruction of the forces that refuse to give up nuclear weapons, especially the five nuclear weapons states, or P5 (Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States). They have been promoting the modernization of their nuclear arsenals and even the U.S. and China, despite the antagonism by them in other areas, were of one mind in issuing joint statements condemning the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
The treaty, which will enter into force soon, puts pressure the nuclear power nations politically and ethically by making them a minority that relies on nuclear weapons, and contributes to a global impetus for the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
At next year’s Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, we will use the new international norm of the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty as a force to drive nuclear weapons states to implement their obligation to “undertake to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament (Article 6 on NPT) and the “ complete elimination of nuclear weapons” as called for in the NPT review conference in 2000. It is increasingly important to develop international momentum to push them to meet their obligation.
It is really shameful that the government of Japan, which only suffered atomic bombs attacks in war time has turned its back on the UN treaty. A joint letter of former presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers and defense ministers from the 20 countries in the military alliance with the United States (September 21th), stressed that the idea, nuclear weapons strengthen security is dangerous and erroneous and described the ban treaty as a “beacon of hope” supported by a majority of the world’s nations, and called on their leaders to join the pact.
The Japanese government should change its policy and sign and ratify the treaty as soon as possible. The Japanese Communist Party will do its utmost to further develop the joint struggle of concerned citizens and other opposition parties, and work to establish an alternative government that joins the treaty.