University students probe significance of Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol

by Miho Kuwajima, Staff Writer

A course to study the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol, a measure proposed by Mayors for Peace to abolish nuclear weapons, has opened at Hiroshima Shudo University. In the four-month course, students will study the protocol and rewrite it in easily-understood language. The purpose of the course is to encourage students, through a close assessment of the protocol, to reflect on the role that Hiroshima can play in promoting nuclear abolition.

About 50 students, ranging from the second year to the fourth year, are taking the course taught by Takanori Mikami, a professor of international politics. In a total of 15 classes, the students will explore the viability of the protocol and related matters by studying such issues as the current state of nuclear weapons in the world.

In the class held on September 29, Prof. Mikami spoke about the significance of public support for the protocol, both students and ordinary citizens, while pointing to the Land Mine Ban Treaty and the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which stipulate virtually a total ban on these weapons and came into existence through the efforts of world citizens.

The students will examine the content of the protocol line by line and rewrite it in their own words by next January. Their final document will then be offered to Steven Leeper, Chairman of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, and others. Akihiro Izumiya, 19, a second-year student, remarked with enthusiasm, “I didn’t even know such a protocol had been proposed. I’m now interested in nuclear issues and want to try expressing the content of the protocol in my own words.”

The Hiroshima-Nagasaki Protocol was presented this past spring in Geneva, Switzerland by Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba at the second PrepCom for the 2010 NPT Review Conference. It details steps that the international community should take to abolish nuclear weapons and it is hoped the proposal will be discussed at the NPT Review Conference in 2010.

(Originally published on September 30, 2008)

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