Japanese foreign minister hopes foreign ministers’ meeting in Hiroshima creates momentum for nuclear abolition

by Osamu Kido, Staff Writer

On December 9, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida spoke in Tokyo and stressed his hope that the meeting of foreign ministers, scheduled to take place in Hiroshima next April ahead of the Group of Seven (G7) summit (Ise Shima summit) in May, will create momentum for realizing a world without nuclear weapons.

Preparations are under way for the meeting of foreign ministers in the A-bombed city, and the first visit by the foreign ministers from the United States, the United Kingdom, and France—all nuclear weapon states—to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and its centerpiece, the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims. Mr. Kishida said, “I would like world leaders to visit the A-bombed city to touch the inhumanity and the consequences of nuclear weapons.”

Mr. Kishida also referred to the fact that the Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) failed to agree on the final document last spring and expressed his intention to continue working for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. “I wish to work hard in stressing Japan’s role as a mediator between the nuclear nations and the non-nuclear nations, at a time when there is a growing gap between their positions.”

Meanwhile, the Japanese foreign minister spoke about possible main items on the summit agenda. He said that such topics include the large number of refugees moving into Europe, the conditions in the Middle East, measures to combat terrorism, and the South China Sea, where China’s maritime activities have become increasingly assertive. “The understanding of the international community is needed to discuss ways to address this issue,” he said.

(Originally published on December 10, 2015)