Hiroshima Voices: “No Nukes, No War” Mayu Seto, 31, singer-songwriter, Kure City, Hiroshima Prefecture

Everyone is responsible for creating a society with nuclear weapons

While pursuing a music career in Hiroshima, Mayu Seto is engaged in activities aimed at the elimination of nuclear weapons as a member of Kakuwaka Hiroshima, a group mainly composed of young people in Hiroshima who are actively learning about nuclear policies as voters. Ms. Seto is a third-generation A-bomb survivor from Kure City in Hiroshima Prefecture. In June, she traveled to Vienna, Austria, in conjunction with the First Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) and engaged in communicating with young people around the world about “a world without nuclear weapons.”

Click here to view the video

Somewhere deep down, I knew the world could face a situation in which the use of nuclear weapons was a real concern. As residents of Japan, a nation that relies for its security on the U.S. nuclear umbrella, we are all responsible for creating a society with nuclear weapons. I know this because I have long worked to communicate the idea to others that nuclear weapons, so long as they exist, will be used someday, and that the only solution to that risk is elimination of the weapons.

But, I am truly fearful of Russia’s threats to use nuclear weapons. I began to look back at how realistic my antinuclear messages to this point in time had been. I now feel that my consciousness about the matter was overly optimistic.

The way I choose to move away from such fear is to do what I can now together with other Kakuwaka members. In October, we started an online workshop to learn more about other survivors throughout the world suffering from the manufacture and testing of nuclear weapons. In the future, we plan to invite young activists from Fiji, New Zealand, and the Marshall Islands that we met at the recent TPNW states parties meeting to our workshops.

I want Russian President Vladimir Putin and other political leaders to listen sincerely to the voices of those who have suffered. Russia is now robbing civilians in Ukraine and its own soldiers of their lives. What Russia should protect is not the state but the individuals living there. I want that country to imagine how many people are suffering as a result of its own decisions.

In the past, 77 years ago, an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima at the end of a war that Japan had begun. Many people are overwhelmed by shock, anger, and despair when they visit the A-bombed city of Hiroshima. For those people to have the time to come to terms with these important feelings, I will continue to perform songs I write myself, based on my ever more fervent wish for the elimination of nuclear weapons and the realization of a peaceful world. (Interviewed by Fumiyasu Miyano)