Hibakusha Appeal network to dispatch two survivors to N.Y. with signatures calling for nuclear weapons ban treaty

(by Michiko Tanaka, Staff Writer)

On September 19, the Hibakusha Appeal network, consisting of 46 antinuclear pacifist organizations nationwide, announced that it will dispatch two A-bomb survivors to New York in conjunction with the October meeting of the First Committee (on disarmament and international security) of the U.N. General Assembly. The two survivors will submit signatures to the chairperson of the First Committee which call on all U.N. member states to conclude the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The two survivors are Sueichi Kido, 78, the secretary general of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo), and Toshiki Fujimori, 74, the organization’s assistant secretary general. They will visit the United States on October 8 for a seven-day visit to meet with senior U.N. officials and talk about their A-bomb experiences to the American public. As of July 31, the number of signatures collected in Japan and abroad has reached 8,730,000. The signatures will be recounted at the end of this month.

On September 19, the Hibakusha Appeal network held a send-off party in Tokyo which Mr. Kido attended. He emphasized, “The A-bomb survivors have engaged in various kinds of activities to try to protect people from the potential dangers posed by nuclear weapons. I’d like to submit the signatures we have collected and share our wish for the abolition of nuclear weapons.”

The Hibakusha Appeal network will also send two A-bomb survivors to the third Preparatory Committee of the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), to be held in New York next spring. The network will pursue a fundraising campaign to raise 2 million yen to cover the cost of sending the four survivors to New York next month and next spring.

(Originally published on September 20, 2018)