Symposium in Tokyo calls for concrete steps toward nuclear abolition

by Junichiro Hayashi, Staff Writer

A symposium at which discussions were held on a road map for the abolition of nuclear weapons took place at Kensei Kinenkan Hall in Tokyo on February 5.

John Endicott, president of Woosong University in South Korea and an advocate for the creation of a nuclear-free zone for Northeast Asia, said, "Let us move forward with small steps toward a world free of nuclear weapons." He went on to state that the challenges must be faced squarely, including North Korea's nuclear development program.

Hiromichi Umebayashi, special advisor to the non-governmental organization Peace Depot, served as facilitator.

Kuniko Inoguchi, former Permanent Representative and Ambassador of Japan to the Conference on Disarmament, urged the government of the A-bombed nation to make contributions for the effectuation of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and other efforts, calling the year 2010 "the year to take concrete steps for the abolition of nuclear weapons."

Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba presented the activities of Mayors for Peace. The organization, for which Mr. Akiba serves as president, has advocated eliminating nuclear weapons by 2020. "The will of cities and their citizens can move nations and the world," the mayor stressed, and expressed his hope that the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol will be adopted at the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference to be held in May. The protocol provides a road map for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

The symposium was organized by the Ozaki Yukio Memorial Foundation and about 90 people took part in the event.  

(Originally published on February 6, 2010)