Twin conferences for nuclear weapons abolition close their gatherings in Hiroshima

by Osamu Kido, Staff Writer

On August 6, two World Conferences Against A & H Bombs, held separately by the Japan Congress Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs and by the Japan Council Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs, brought their conferences in Hiroshima to a close at different venues in the city. Both gatherings featured a keen focus on the NPT Review Conference set for 2010 and urged their participants to strengthen their efforts in the run-up to this event. The two conferences will continue their proceedings in Nagasaki on August 7.

The final meeting of the Congress Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs was held at the Chugoku Shimbun Hall with approximately 900 people in attendance. In his speech, Shingo Fukuyama, Secretary General of the Executive Committee for the conference in Hiroshima, underscored the stance of the organization in demanding that the decision to make Yokosuka port the home for U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carriers be rescinded. He also called for the resolution of other issues as well, such as the North Korean nuclear weapons program.

The meeting also adopted the “Hiroshima Appeal” which includes a demand for further revision to the A-bomb disease certification criteria to properly reflect the reality of the A-bomb survivors.

The meeting of the Council Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs was held at Hiroshima Green Arena, drawing approximately 7,500 participants. Plaintiffs of the A-bomb disease class action lawsuits appealed for the early settlement of their complaints, followed by overseas delegates and others who expressed their commitment to strengthening a wide coalition for nuclear weapons abolition.

The proceedings concluded with the adoption of “Calls from Hiroshima” and urged that public opinion be roused and anti-nuclear forces mobilized for the NPT Review Conference.

Both conferences viewed their gatherings as the starting point for concrete actions in connection with the NPT Review Conference in two years. The Congress Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs has vowed to implement a unified campaign centering on a petition drive in tandem with the National Council for Peace and Against Nuclear Weapons.

The Council Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs, too, confirmed that it will launch an international campaign to collect signatures in an effort to encourage the world’s people, including people in the nuclear weapons states, to press their governments to negotiate a Nuclear Weapons Convention which would prohibit and abolish nuclear arms.

(Originally published on August 7, 2008)

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