Experience of Hiroshima stirs “firm resolve” in G8 Speakers

by Hiromi Morita, Staff Writer

At a press conference after the G8 Summit of Lower House Speakers on September 2, Speaker Yohei Kono stressed the significance of holding the meeting in the A-bombed city of Hiroshima and said that the speakers had expressed a firm resolve to advance the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Speaker Kono said that visiting Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and listening to the personal account of an A-bomb survivor had left a strong impression on the speakers. He added that some participants referred to Hiroshima as the most suitable location to discuss peace and disarmament issues.

As a rule, the G8 Speakers’ Summit is closed to the public and details of the deliberations are not disclosed. With this consideration in mind, Speaker Kono spoke generally about the discussions, saying that strong statements supporting nuclear disarmament and the abolition of nuclear weapons were voiced among the participants. Specifically, they referred to the need to uphold the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) regime, which appears on the brink of collapse, as well as advance the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), still not ratified by the United States and other countries.

Speaker Kono also commented on the change he observed in the speakers’ outlook. He felt that the meeting in Hiroshima had heightened the resolve of the participants, turning their initial aim of promoting a world without nuclear weapons into a firmer determination to fulfill this aspiration and create a peaceful planet.

The speakers of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and France attended the press conference, but did not offer comment.

(Originally published on September 3, 2008)