Japanese Trade Union Confederation and other organizations hold Peace Hiroshima Conference

by Yumi Kanazaki and Daiki Hisayuku, Staff Writers

The Japanese Trade Union Confederation, the National Council for Peace and Against Nuclear Weapons, and the Japan Congress Against A- and H-Bombs held the Peace Hiroshima Conference at Hiroshima Green Arena in downtown Hiroshima on August 4.

Meanwhile, the Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs and other entities continued their international meeting as part of the 2009 World Conference Against A & H Bombs, discussing a path toward the elimination of nuclear weapons and relief measures for A-bomb survivors.

About 6,500 people participated in the Peace Hiroshima Conference. Nobuaki Koga, general secretary of the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (JTUC), called on Japan to “abide by the three non-nuclear principles and promote the creation of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Northeast Asia.” Koichi Kawano, chair of the Japan Congress Against A- and H-Bombs, declared, “We must fulfill our commitment to never again repeat the evil by exerting our influence at next spring’s Review Conference for the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT).”

Prior to the opening of the conference, Mr. Koga and other figures, along with representatives from the International Trade Union Confederation, headquartered in Belgium, to which JTUC belongs, met with Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba at Hiroshima City Hall. They reported on the current state of their drive to collect 10 million signatures of support for the elimination of nuclear weapons, an international effort led by JTUC and other organizations. The representatives also made clear they will engage in the “2020 Vision” campaign which Mayors for Peace, chaired by Mayor Akiba, is promoting.

At the international meeting held by the Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs and other entities, Paul Aphoy, vice president of the Fiji Nuclear Veterans Association, shared his experience and asked for support, saying, “Not only I, but my family members, too, have been suffering from illness.” Mr. Aphoy was exposed to the radiation from a hydrogen bomb test conducted by the United Kingdom around Christmas Island in the Pacific Ocean. Representatives from the South Korean A-bomb Survivors Organization and other entities urged enhanced relief measures. 

(Originally published on August 5, 2009)

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