World Conferences Against A & H Bombs open in Nagasaki

by Yumi Kanazaki and Uzaemonnaotsuka Tokai, Staff Writers

On August 7, the twin World Conferences Against A and H Bombs resumed their discussions in Nagasaki, the venue moving from Hiroshima. One world conference is being organized by the Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs and its affiliated organizations, while the other world conference is organized by the Japan Congress Against A- and H- Bombs and its affiliated organizations.

Both conferences will continue until August 9 with symposiums and meetings in which the participants will discuss such themes as strategies to appeal for the elimination of nuclear weapons and the future of relief measures for A-bomb survivors.

The Japan Council held the opening meeting of its world conference at Nagasaki Citizens’ Hall. Approximately 6,000 people, including members of trade unions throughout Japan, took part in the meeting. Sakuji Daikoku, president of the National Confederation Trade Unions (Zenroren), referred to the address made by U.S. President Barack Obama in Prague in which he pledged to strive for a world without nuclear weapons. Mr. Daikoku called on the participants to “promote a campaign to abolish nuclear weapons now.”

Meanwhile, the Japan Congress, along with the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (JTUC) and the National Council for Peace and Against Nuclear Weapons, held the Peace Nagasaki Conference at Nagasaki Prefectural Gymnasium with 3,900 in attendance. Tsuyoshi Takagi, president of the JTUC, told the gathering, “Although the road is rough, we must unite our strength to rid the world of nuclear weapons.” Masanori Nakashima, 79, president of the Nagasaki Prefecture A-bomb Health Handbook Friendship Society, made a passionate appeal for support, saying, “Sixty-four years have passed since that fateful day. But the A-bomb survivors still suffer from the aftereffects of the bombings.”

(Originally published on August 8, 2009)

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