Hiroshima prefectural government to hold conference on nuclear disarmament in July

by Kenichiro Nozaki, Staff Writer

On May 24, the Hiroshima prefectural government announced that it plans to stage a round-table conference in late July to explore a path toward abolishing nuclear weapons. Researchers and politicians from a range of nations, including nuclear weapons states, will be invited to Hiroshima to take part.

The main theme of the gathering will be issues involving nuclear disarmament and arms control in East Asia. Against the backdrop of China’s military build-up and North Korea’s repeated nuclear tests, the participants will exchange views on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, and the denuclearization of the East Asian region.

The conference was initially conceived as a component of the “Hiroshima for Global Peace” plan formulated by the prefectural government. About 20 people, including researchers and politicians from such nations as Japan, China, South Korea, and the United States, will take part. The prefectural government has decided to focus on East Asia, deeming it “one of the regions where tensions surrounding nuclear weapons are highest.”

The prefectural government expects to continue such round-table conferences beyond fiscal 2014. After gaining the participation of representatives of national governments in the future, it seeks to turn the conferences into multilateral negotiations on nuclear disarmament. Hiroshima Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki stressed that through these gatherings he hopes to advance the abolition of nuclear weapons with concrete steps.

(Originally published on May 25, 2013)