Hiroshima Prefecture to create “scorecard” to rate nuclear arms reduction efforts of nuclear powers

by Takuya Murata, Staff Writer

In fiscal 2012, the Hiroshima prefectural government will develop a “scorecard” to rate its assessment of the efforts being made by the nuclear weapon states, including de facto nuclear powers, with regard to nuclear arms reduction and non-proliferation. This project is an element of the prefecture’s “Hiroshima for Global Peace” plan. With a view to making the ratings public at next year’s second preparatory meeting for the 2015 Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, the prefectural government intends to urge the nuclear weapon states to pursue concrete actions for the realization of a world without nuclear weapons.

According to an official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this will be the first time that a municipality has developed a rating system for nuclear disarmament efforts.

The nations that will be the focus of the scorecard include the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and China, all nuclear weapon states recognized by the NPT; India and Pakistan, which possess nuclear weapons but have not joined the treaty; and Israel, a de facto nuclear weapon state. The prefectural government is also considering the addition of North Korea, which withdrew from the NPT in 2003 and has been engaged in developing nuclear weapons, as well as Iran and Syria, which are suspected of developing nuclear weapons.

The ratings will be determined by a working group composed of university researchers from inside and outside Hiroshima Prefecture. Items for evaluation will be derived from the 64-item action plan adopted by the NPT Review Conference in May 2010, which includes pursuing efforts toward the reduction and elimination of nuclear weapons, and the ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Plans also call for the establishment of a certification body that will consist of outside experts and advisers. After this body evaluates the fairness of the rating system, the idea of making the ratings public at the second preparatory meeting, scheduled for spring 2013, will be contemplated.

According to prefectural government officials, Hiroshima Prefecture will seek to promote its scorecard, which reflects Hiroshima’s wish for the elimination of nuclear arms, in hopes of urging the international community to take action to advance the aim of nuclear disarmament.


Hiroshima Prefecture’s “Hiroshima for Global Peace” plan
This initiative outlines the role that Hiroshima could play in the effort to abolish nuclear weapons. Proposed by Hiroshima Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki in November 2011, the plan has received the support of such luminaries as U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Among the members of the committee which formulated the plan are notable figures from home and abroad, including Yasushi Akashi, former U.N. undersecretary general. The plan calls for holding international conferences in Hiroshima which would bring together senior government officials of the nuclear weapon states, accumulating research on nuclear disarmament, and developing human resources for the field of peace building, among other activities.

(Originally published on April 17, 2012)