@9 days until Hiroshima Summit: ICAN

by Kana Kobayashi, Staff Writer

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) is an international organization consisting of groups from more than 100 nations including Japan. It was formally established by an Australian doctor and other originators in 2007. It is said they got the idea of establishing ICAN from the precedent set by “the Landmine Ban Treaty,” a formulation which NGOs took the lead in its establishment by arousing international public opinion.

ICAN lobbied governments in various nations and realized the establishment of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which aims to render nuclear weapons completely illegitimate, in 2017. The group was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in the same year. However, the government of Japan, the A-bombed nation, has not ratified the treaty yet. As for the Landmine Ban Treaty, which some in the government were cautions about, the Japanese government signed it in 1997 through the leadership by then Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi. A bold decision of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who represents Hiroshima, is expected.

(Originally published on May 10, 2023)