Political parties call for parliamentary resolution on abolition of nuclear weapons

by Kohei Okata, Staff Writer

On May 8, at an executive meeting of the Lower House Steering Committee, the Democratic Party of Japan submitted a proposal for a parliamentary resolution calling for more active efforts by the Japanese government in regard to the abolition of nuclear weapons. The proposal was inspired by the recent speech made by U.S. President Barack Obama in which he unveiled his vision for a world without nuclear weapons.

The proposal demands that the Japanese government play a leading role at next year’s NPT Review Conference and strengthen its efforts to denuclearize North East Asia. The Democratic Party is calling for the resolution to be adopted during the current session of the Diet. Kosaka Kenji, who heads the steering committee, asked each executive member to discuss the issue among the ruling parties and the opposition.

Meanwhile, members of the Social Democratic Party, including party chief Mizuho Fukushima, met with Yohei Kono, speaker of the House of Representatives, and Satsuki Eda, president of the House of Councilors, at the Diet. They advocated that, when such a resolution is submitted to the Diet for approval, it should include the Japanese government’s clear stance in regard to such points as withholding objection to a pledge of no-first-use of nuclear weapons by the United States and reducing Japan’s dependence on the U.S. nuclear umbrella.

At a press conference, Ms. Fukushima pointed out that efforts for nuclear disarmament have entered a new phase in the sense that “there is now the possibility that the huge nuclear umbrella could shrink.” She expressed her view that a parliamentary resolution should be more comprehensive than the proposal compiled by the Democratic Party. She also mentioned that her party will seek visits by President Obama to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

(Originally published on May 9, 2009)

Related articles
Obama lays out vision for nuclear-free world (April 7, 2009)