Sit-in calls for peace on the 7th anniversary of 9/11

by Hiromi Morita, Staff Writer

On September 11, which marked the 7th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in the United States, a sit-in was held in front of the A-bomb Dome, calling for the withdrawal of the Japan Self-Defense Forces (SDF) from such areas as the Indian Ocean and Iraq. The participants of the sit-in, organized by the Hiroshima Congress Against A- and H-Bombs and the Hiroshima Peace Action Center, also protested the approval of the U.S.-India Nuclear Agreement by the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

Approximately 100 people, including A-bomb survivors, sat for about 30 minutes while displaying a banner and expressing their demand for the SDF withdrawal and their opposition to the NSG approval.

Takashi Mukai, representative of the Hiroshima Congress Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs, referred to the fact that the U.S.-led wars in the aftermath of the September 11th terror attacks have claimed a large number of victims, and stressed, “Force cannot bring about peace.” He also criticized the Japanese government for its approval of the U.S.-India Nuclear Agreement, stating, “This means that our A-bombed nation is permitting nuclear proliferation in Asia, a stance by the Japanese government that we can never accept.”

Sunao Tsuboi, chairman of the Hiroshima Prefectural Confederation of A-bomb Sufferers Organizations, made a strong appeal to the participants, remarking, “Because we do not reflect adequately on our past, the history of violence is being repeated. We must rise up against violence.” The participants jointly adopted a statement which opposes the dispatch of the SDF overseas and calls for peace in Iraq and other regions. They sent the statement to Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and others.

(Originally published on September 12, 2008)

Hiroshima Prefecture demands the central government urge India to join the NPT

by Yu Kano, Staff Writer

The Hiroshima Prefectural Government has submitted an appeal to the Japanese government, calling on it to urge India to become a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) without delay. The central government recently approved the U.S-India Nuclear agreement, which authorizes the supply of uranium and nuclear-related technology to India, a non-signatory of the NPT.

The statement, addressed to Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, criticized the NSG, of which Japan is also a member, for treating India as a special case, calling the decision “extremely regrettable.” It also demanded that the central government aggressively push India toward early compliance to the NPT and ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), as well as adopt a strict stand if India should ever conduct a nuclear weapons test. In August, the Prefectural Government had requested that the central government oppose this agreement, raising the concern that “According special treatment to India will make the NPT meaningless.”

(Originally published on September 12, 2008)

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Prime Minister defends approval of U.S.-India nuclear pact (Sept. 10, 2008)
Hiroshima voices anger and disappointment over approval of U.S.-India nuclear pact (Sept. 10, 2008)
Japan’s misguided response to the U.S.-India nuclear pact (Sept. 10, 2008)