Foreign Minister refuses to support A-bomb exhibit “that is not factual”

by Yo Kono, Staff Writer

The Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo) is planning an A-bomb exhibit in conjunction with the holding of the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) at the United Nation’s headquarters in New York City, starting the end of April. However, Japan’s Foreign Ministry has requested that Nihon Hidankyo change panel information that explains certain nuclear accidents. About this issue, at a March 6 meeting of the Lower House Foreign Affairs Committee, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said, “We cannot support something that is not factual.”

Some representatives of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and the National Democratic Party urged the foreign minister to clarify his comments by questioning what the government saw as the problem with the exhibit. Mr. Motegi replied, “We have received a request for support, and we are now in the midst of examining the exhibit in detail. For that reason, it is extremely important to ascertain whether the exhibit is based on fact.” Asked about his communication with the Hidankyo organization, Mr. Motegi refrained from comment.

According to Hidankyo, the information in question are two A-bomb exhibit panels that touch on the nuclear accidents at Fukushima No. 1 (Daiichi) nuclear power plant, operated by the Tokyo Electric Power Company, and the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. The Foreign Minister pointed out that the NPT permits peaceful use of nuclear energy and that the NPT’s stance is therefore incompatible with Hidankyo’s position.

(Originally published on March 7, 2020)