With 50 nations to ratify TPNW this month, treaty is expected to take effect in early 2021

by Junji Akechi, Staff Writer

Hiroshima Mayor Matsui emphasizes importance of TPNW for “world to share Hiroshima’s wishes”

At a press conference on October 2, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui welcomed the prospect that the number of nations and regions to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) will, this month at the earliest, reach 50, the number necessary for the treaty to take effect. “There is a prevailing perception in the international community that nuclear weapons are an absolute evil and must not exist,” Mr. Matsui said, expressing anew his hope for early effectuation of the treaty.

Stressing the significance of effectuation of the treaty, Mr. Matsui said, “The treaty will serve as a new international framework through which civil societies in the world can share Hiroshima’s wishes.” He added, “I expect the treaty to serve as the start of a major trend toward peace.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Matsui touched on the current stagnation in nuclear disarmament against the backdrop of tensions among nations and pointed out that, “Effectuation of the treaty will not lead to nuclear abolition immediately in the present situation.” He added how important it is for nuclear weapons states and their allies to participate in the treaty to increase the treaty’s effectiveness.

Mr. Matsui expressed his intent to also promote such efforts at the Mayors for Peace organization, for which he serves as president. The efforts include fostering international public opinion to steer nuclear weapons states in the direction of nuclear abolition and calling on the Japanese national government to participate as an observer in meetings held after the treaty’s effectuation and attended by signatories.

(Originally published on October 3, 2020)