Symposium on anti-nuclear weapons campaigns held in Hiroshima

by Hironori Matsumoto, Staff Writer

A symposium concerning campaigns which seek the abolition of nuclear weapons was held at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum on May 11, 2008. Representatives of organizations in attendance reported such campaigns have been gaining strength both in and out of Japan. They urged the audience to raise Hiroshima's voice to the world.

The symposium was organized by the Hiroshima Alliance for Nuclear Weapons Abolition (HANWA) and about 60 people were in attendance. Koichi Toyoshima, a professor at Saga University, spoke about his experience participating in an anti-nuclear weapons campaign called “Faslane 365,” which was carried out in front of a strategic nuclear base in Scotland for one year until Fall 2007. Mr. Toyoshima stressed the worthy outcome of the campaign in bringing together like-minded people from different nations. He added, “We should engage in non-violent demonstrations, such as sit-ins, more regularly.”

Ichiro Yuasa, President of the Peace Depot, a non-profit organization, and Steven Leeper, Chairman of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, made suggestions in regard to effective forms for anti-nuclear campaigns in the run-up to the 2010 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference. Mr. Leeper explained the strategies of Mayors for Peace and commented with a sense of crisis, “This may be our last chance to move toward a world free of nuclear weapons. If we miss this opportunity, these weapons will likely be used again.”