Nihon Hidankyo cancels plan to send delegation to NPT review conference, considers different date for A-bombing exhibit

by Yo Kono, Staff Writer

On March 16, in response to the global novel coronavirus pandemic, the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo) announced it would cancel its plan to send a delegation to New York City, where the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) was to be held in April and May. The Hidankyo organization also planned to hold an A-bombing exhibit at the United Nations headquarters but is now considering holding the exhibit at a later date.

Hidankyo explained in writing that it turned out to be difficult at this time to dispatch a delegation consisting of a large number of elderly A-bomb survivors, many of whom suffer from chronic illness. The organization indicated the decision was regrettable but necessary for the protection of people’s lives.

Due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, the holding of the review conference will likely be postponed for one year. Hidankyo indicated that it would consider the possibility of sending a delegation to any future review conference. With regard to the A-bombing exhibit, the organization will continue its preparations of the panels, as well as its discussions about the event with the United Nations, including the possibility of changing the exhibit timing.

Since 2005, Hidankyo has dispatched a delegation to the United States in conjunction with the NPT Review Conference, which takes place every five years. This year, the 50th anniversary of the treaty’s enactment, the organization was planning to send about 50 A-bomb survivors to New York between April 25 and May 3 to submit signatures demanding abolition of nuclear weapons, to communicate their own A-bombing experiences, and to call on the governments of all countries to work together to achieve abolition.

(Originally published on March 17, 2020)