NGO network requests group of opposition lawmakers to debate on nuclear ban treaty in Diet

(by Yo Kono, Staff Writer)

On February 5, Members of the Japan NGO Network for Nuclear Weapons Abolition called on lawmakers to discuss how Japan could sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons through Diet deliberation. These lawmakers of both the lower and upper houses of the Diet belong to such parties as the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and the Democratic Party for the People. The Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb sufferers organizations is a member of the NGO network.

Akira Kawasaki, a co-representative for the network and co-chair of Peace Boat, visited the House of Councilors Building and appealed to some 10 lawmakers who belong to foreign affairs and security groups.

Since this year marks the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings and the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons will be held this year, the NGO network suggested that a committee or a research committee to debate nuclear disarmament policies be created in the Diet in order to explore ways for Japan to sign and ratify the nuclear ban treaty.

While the initial part of the meeting was open to others, its remaining portion was held behind closed doors. After the meeting, Koichi Yamauchi, head of the foreign affairs group, said, “We will discuss this matter in our party and deliberate on what specific actions should be taken.” Mr. Kawasaki met with Fumio Kishida, chairperson of the Policy Research Council of the Liberal Democratic Party, at the party’s headquarters in late January and made the same request. Mr. Kishida is from Hiroshima electoral district No. 1.

(Originally published on February 6, 2020)