Hiroshima City displays promotional message at International Conference Center announcing nuclear ban treaty to take effect in January

by Tsuyoshi Kubota, Staff Writer

On November 13, the Hiroshima City government displayed a message announcing that the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) would enter into force on January 22, next year. The message was posted at the International Conference Center Hiroshima, located in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in the center of that city. The city government hopes that the message will reach visitors traveling from inside and outside the city, increasing the momentum toward the elimination of nuclear weapons.

The message was put up on the building’s third-floor windows facing Peace Boulevard. Twelve sheets of paper, measuring 0.6 meters long and 1.8 meters wide, were arranged in two rows. One row reads, “Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons to enter into force in January next year!” The next row announces, “A fresh start in the realization of a world without nuclear weapons.” Four staff members of the city’s Peace Promotion Division carried out the work of taping the paper for the message to the windows.

The TPNW comprehensively bans nuclear weapons, from their development to use. It was adopted by the United Nations in July 2017. In October this year, the number of treaty-ratifying nations and regions reached 50, the total necessary for the treaty to take effect. Nuclear weapon states oppose the treaty, and Japan has not signed or ratified it for such reasons as the country’s stance is one of reliance on the U.S. “nuclear umbrella.”

Yuji Sakamoto, 47, head of the city’s Peace Promotion Division, said, “To ensure effectiveness of the treaty, more and more countries should sign and ratify it, with support from citizens also necessary. We’ve prominently displayed the message to generate more interest in the treaty.”

At the beginning of this month, the city government updated the world map displayed in the Peace Memorial Museum showing the countries and regions that have ratified the treaty. The municipal government added explanations about the ratifying nations and regions reaching the number of 50, as well as about the date on which the treaty is to take effect.

(Originally published on November 14, 2020)