Nihon Hidankyo to send dozens of representatives to 2020 U.N. NPT Conference

The A- and H-bomb Sufferers Organizations, or Nihon Hidankyo, based in Tokyo, has decided to send a delegation comprised of dozens of members to the Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) to be held in April and May 2020 at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The NPT Review Conference is held every five years.

Hidankyo has dispatched delegates to all such conferences since 2005, including 49 members to the most recent conference in 2015. While the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted at the United Nations in 2017, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty between the United States and Russia is now in danger of being terminated, creating uncertainty over the fate of nuclear disarmament. Hidankyo is consequently considering sending about the same number of representatives to the next Review Conference.

Hidankyo will hold an atomic bomb exhibition at the conference venue, and the delegates will give testimonies of their A-bomb experiences and hold a meeting with government representatives of each country. Terumi Tanaka, 86, the co-chair of Hidankyo, said, “Security can never be guaranteed by using military might. We will make sure that the conference attendees listen to the real voices of the A-bomb survivors, and strongly urge them and the representatives of nuclear-dependent countries to conclude the nuclear ban treaty.”

The NPT limits the nuclear weapon states to the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China, while imposing on them the obligation to sincerely pursue negotiations for nuclear disarmament. The treaty, on the other hand, prohibits other countries from possessing nuclear weapons, but grants them the right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy. The NPT Review Conference is held every five years to assess the implementation of the treaty.

(Originally published on February 15, 2019)