Kazakh Embassy holds conference for nuclear-free world: A-bomb survivors in attendance

(by Yo Kono, Staff Writer)

On September 19, an international conference was held in Tokyo sponsored by the Kazakh Embassy in Japan. The conference was devoted to continuing the call for the elimination of nuclear weapons, and to conveying the importance of banning nuclear tests. The theme of the conference was a “path to a nuclear weapons free world.” Among the roughly 250 attendees were victims of nuclear tests conducted in Kazakhstan by the former Soviet Union, as well as survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings.

During the conference, Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Japan, Yerlan Baudarbek-Kozhatayev affirmed his country’s dedication to “continue further active work” in realizing a world without nuclear weapons. Kazakhstan ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons on August 29.

Karipbek Kuyukov, an artist born without arms as a result of radiation from nuclear tests, also gave a speech to the audience. In his speech, Mr. Kuyukov asked countries around the world to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and added that people must speak up so no more tragedies are caused by nuclear weapons.

Hisato Mitsutake, head of the Nagasaki representation in Tokyo, also took to the platform and read aloud a message from Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue – in it, a reiteration of Nagasaki’s continued goal of advancing peace.

The conference was organized and held by the embassy this year, because 2019 marks the 70th year of the former Soviet Union’s first nuclear test.

(Originally published on September 20, 2019)