JCP sends a statement to the president of 2023 Meeting of the States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
Prior to the Second Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which began on November 27 in the UN headquarters in New York, Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Kasai Akira on November 25 sent a statement to the president of the meeting and other relevant stakeholders. Kasai is now taking part in the meeting on behalf of the JCP. The full text of the document is as follows:
A Petition to the Second Meeting of the States Parties regarding the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
Japanese Communist Party Member of the House of Representatives Kasai Akira
As a political party in the only country in the world that suffered nuclear attacks, the Japanese Communist Party conveys its heartfelt congratulations on the opening of the second Meeting of the States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). We strongly expect that making full use of the normative force of the Treaty which will soon enter its third year after going into effect, the work will progress to translate the Vienna Declaration and Action Plan-two agenda items adopted in the first Meeting of the States Parties to the TPNW in June last year in which I myself took part-into action.
With Russia's aggression against Ukraine continuing and the Gaza crisis deepening, in order to prevent nuclear weapons from being used at any cost-a real risk in the world today-and to take a step toward a world free from nuclear weapons, the JCP calls on the participants of the Meeting to take notice of the following requests.
1.The JCP requests the Meeting to issue a fresh warning to remind the world that nuclear weapons will, once used, bring about a catastrophe with devastating humanitarian consequences and underscores the need of the Meeting to send out a strong message to prevent this.
The existence of the TPNW is itself contributing greatly to preventing the use of nuclear weapons. Russia's Putin administration has threatened to use nuclear weapons but no country has publicly expressed their commitment to a nuclear retaliation. The TPNW was created with the parties being "mindful of the unacceptable suffering of and harm caused to the victims of the use of nuclear weapons (hibakusha), as well as of those affected by the testing of nuclear weapons". The Treaty highlights the inhumane nature of nuclear weapons and serves as a normative rule banning the use and the threat to use nuclear weapons, tightly binding the hands of nuclear-weapon States. "By their very nature, nuclear weapons are the weapons of madness, bringing total extinction. They are weapons so evil that humanity must never accept them." (*) The international society should sincerely listen to Hibakusha's call and make efforts to prevent nuclear weapons from being used.
(*) Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Suffers Organizations "No More Hibakusha-Atomic Bomb Victims demand" (November 18, 1984)
2,The JCP requests that in line with the Vienna Action Plan of the TPNW, the States Parties take further steps to deliver measures stipulated in the Treaty, namely victim assistance and environmental remediation (Article 6) as well as international cooperation and assistance (Article 7).
The JCP enthusiastically welcomes that informal working groups set up in the first Meeting have begun their work. Hibakusha groups and other civil society organizations are more than ready to help actively. In addition, thinking that the Japanese government should participate in this activity even before deciding to join the Treaty, the JCP has urged it to take part in this Meeting as an observer. The JCP asks the Meeting to continue to attach importance to the engagement of the Japanese government.
3,In line with the Vienna Declaration reaffirming "complementarity" of the TPNW with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the JCP expects the States Parties to urge nuclear powers to fulfill their obligation under Article 6 of the NPT for nuclear disarmament.
Nuclear-weapon States' negligence to implement their undertaking under Article 6 of the NPT is the largest factor undermining the confidence in the NPT system today. The TPNW clearly highlights nuclear-weapon states' obligation under Article 6 of the NPT to make efforts for the reduction and elimination of their nuclear arsenals, and greatly contributes to transforming the NPT into a framework for a world free from nuclear weapons. Further efforts are called for to reaffirm and flesh out agreements of the past Review Conferences with concrete plans and implement them.
4,The JCP calls on States Parties to urge governments adherent to the nuclear deterrence theory to abandon the policy.
The TPNW delegitimizes the concept of nuclear deterrence by banning nuclear threats, which serves as encouragement to anti-nuke public opinions and movements worldwide. In UN General Assembly debates, a call for a paradigm shift away from the nuclear deterrence theory has attracted much attention. To adopt the theory is equivalent to a commitment to use nuclear weapons without hesitation when necessary, which would create a disaster with horrendous humanitarian outcomes much worse than the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Such a theory is morally unacceptable. The urgent need now is to increase public opinions calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons.
The international community of nations needs to unite to help resolve the ongoing humanitarian crises in Ukraine and Gaza. The JCP expects the Meeting's active contribution to this effect. The TPNW is based on the UN Charter as stated in its preamble. Russia's aggression against Ukraine is a serious violation of the UN Charter and international law and Israel's indiscriminate killing of civilians in Gaza with its large-scale attacks is in violation of international law.
In order for the universalization of the TPNW and its greater normative force, the JCP will work even harder to push Japan, the only A-bombed country in the world, to sign and ratify the Treaty. The JCP expresses its determination to further strengthen cooperation with all governments of countries participating in the Meeting and civil society groups to realize a world free from nuclear weapons.