Council to support Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative is established in Hiroshima

by Kohei Okata, Staff Writer

On July 10, the council to support the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI) was established in Hiroshima in the run-up to the NPDI foreign ministerial meeting to be held in Hiroshima next April. The NPDI is an initiative comprised of ten non-nuclear weapon states. The new council, a joint effort of the public and private sectors, has decided to display banners and hold a ceremony to greet the participants in order to foster a welcoming atmosphere.

The first meeting of the council was held at Hiroshima City Hall. Thirteen people from nine organizations, including Hiroshima Prefecture, the City of Hiroshima, the Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and organizations with friendly ties to Australia, Canada, and Germany, which will join the ministerial meeting, were in attendance. Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui assumed the post of chair and Hiroshima Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki the post of counselor.

The meeting was held behind closed doors. Eight ideas proposed by the City of Hiroshima, which hosts the administrative office of the council, were approved. Among them were displaying welcome banners around the venue of the International Conference Center Hiroshima and vertical banners conveying wishes for a successful meeting at Hiroshima Prefectural Government and the Naka Ward building as well as holding a dinner party to welcome the participating foreign ministers. Hiroshima Prefecture and the City of Hiroshima will share the cost of four million yen from this fiscal year.

Aside from these steps taken by the council, the City of Hiroshima is conferring with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan on the idea of the foreign ministers offering flowers to the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims in downtown Hiroshima and touring Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum prior to the meeting. The city will also provide them with the opportunity to hear the testimony of an A-bomb survivor.

Mr. Matsui said that he hopes the foreign ministers will learn about the reality of the atomic bombing and raise awareness for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

(Originally published on July 11, 2013)