JCP Chair gives speech at 2023 World Conference against A- and H-Bombs
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on August 6 gave a speech at the 2023 World Conference against A- and H-Bombs Hiroshima Day rally held in Hiroshima City. The full text of Shii's speech is as follows:
Hello everyone. I'm Shii Kazuo of the Japanese Communist Party. (applause) I would like to send my heartfelt message of solidarity to you, who came from various places across Japan and from abroad.
On the 78th anniversary of the August 6 atomic bombing, I urge the Japanese government to change its stance in three ways if it really seeks to pursue a world free from nuclear weapons as it claims.
Abandon the nuclear deterrence theory and let go of fixation
First, I want to stress that the Japanese government should abandon the nuclear deterrence theory - - an abandonment that is long overdue. (applause)
Yesterday, I had the chance to take part in a discussion organized by an NGO. At that meeting, Setsuko Thurlow, an atomic bomb survivor living in Canada-who is also present here today-strongly criticized the G7 Hiroshima Vision adopted in May, saying that she was appalled by the fact that the document proclaims its adherence to the nuclear deterrence theory. I felt equally appalled.
Accepting the theory means endorsing a possible use of nuclear weapons when deemed necessary without hesitating, which will trigger an inhumane catastrophe like what happened after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The government should be ashamed for having advocated such a position here in the atomic-bombed city. (applause)
I strongly demand that the Japanese government discard the nuclear deterrence theory, which constitutes one of the biggest obstacles in establishing a world free from nuclear weapons, and let go of its fixation on the theory. (applause)
Nuclear weapons ban treaty is commencing its role-Japan should join international efforts to support nuclear victims
Second, the Japanese government should recognize the significance of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
The nuclear weapons ban treaty is commencing its role. I think this is a significant source of hope.
Article 6 of the treaty stipulates victim assistance and environmental remediation and Article 7 deals with international cooperation and assistance. Based on the two articles, an unofficial working group was set up and started its activities.
Investigations are already underway regarding the victims of nuclear tests in Kazakhstan, Algeria, Kiribati, and Marshall Islands. From Japan, members of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations provided it with reports on damage. Based on these, the group is now considering establishing an international fund to support victims. This is a wonderful development.
The JCP urges the Japanese government to join the TPNW. And the government should at least take part as an observer in the second Meeting of the States Parties to the treaty scheduled for November and become involved in the international cooperation to support victims of nuclear weapons. (enthusiastic applause)
Japan has extensive scientific expertise in this field. Let us call on the government to leverage this knowledge without delay to provide support to victims of nuclear weapons across the world. (applause)
Japan should urge nuclear-weapon states to meet their obligations under Article 6 of the NPT
Third is to press nuclear-weapon states to fulfill their obligations under Article 6 of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Last year's NPT Review Conference failed to adopt a final document due to opposition from Russia. Citing this fact, some argue that the NPT regime is in crisis.
However, the biggest threat to the NPT regime's trustworthiness is in nuclear-weapon states' neglect to undertake their obligation under Article 6 of the NPT to "pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to [...] nuclear disarmament".
Needless to say, Russia's aggression against Ukraine must not be tolerated. At the same time, it is equally intolerable for the other nuclear-weapon states to use this crisis as a justification for disregarding the obligation under Article 6, citing the need for nuclear deterrence.
The Japanese government should urge the United States and other nuclear-weapon states to reaffirm a series of agreements based on Article 6 of the treaty-positive agreements leading to a world free from nuclear weapons-, develop action plans, and actually implement them. (applause)
Let us expand grass-root movements to work for change in Japan and throughout the world
In order to establish a world free from nuclear weapons, let us work together to expand grass-root movements, strengthen international solidarity, change Japanese politics, and change the entire world. (applause) With this call, I finish my speech. (applause)