Peace Declaration to include desire to host next NPT review conference in Hiroshima

by Kanako Noda, Staff Writer

On July 22, in an interview with the Chugoku Shimbun, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui, indicated that he will include his desire to hold international conferences in Hiroshima, at which world leaders would gather, in this year's Peace Declaration. With an eye toward the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in 2015, Mr. Matsui will deliver his first Peace Declaration as mayor of Hiroshima on August 6, the day marking the atomic bombing of the city.

Referring to the NPT review conference, where participants will discuss the NPT regime, Mr. Matsui said, “I don’t know how specifically we should describe this in the Peace Declaration. But I think the declaration should include a statement which suggests that Hiroshima will gather concerned parties from nations around the world and promote a deeper understanding of the A-bombed city.”

Mr. Matsui also expressed his intention to clearly state in the Peace Declaration that Hiroshima calls on the central government to enhance relief measures for A-bomb survivors, which includes expanding the designated area of the “black rain.” He stressed, “The city of Hiroshima hopes that the central government will fully address this issue.”

At a news conference on July 8, the mayor first spoke of his desire to host the next NPT review conference in Hiroshima, the year marking the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing. He stressed the significance of staging the conference in the city, saying, “To advance the effort to eliminate nuclear weapons, we hope that a gathering of world leaders will enable them to see firsthand the horrific consequences of the atomic bombing.”

Since assuming the office of mayor in April, Mr. Matusi has presented “appeals for peace from home” as part of his administration's policy. He concluded by saying that, as one concrete example of this policy, the idea of hosting the NPT review conference should be touched on in the Peace Declaration, which will be transmitted to the public at home and abroad.


The Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT)
The NPT, a multilateral treaty founded on the three pillars of nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation, and the peaceful use of nuclear energy, went into force in 1970, and was indefinitely extended in 1995. The treaty limits the nuclear weapon states to the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China, and imposes on these nations the obligation to hold negotiations for nuclear disarmament. At the same time, the nuclear powers of India and Pakistan, as well as Israel, a de facto nuclear power, are non-signatories to the NPT. North Korea declared its withdrawal from the treaty in 2003.

(Originally published on July 23, 2011)