A-bomb survivors condemn Japan’s refusal to support U.N. resolution for nuclear ban negotiations

by Kyosuke Mizukawa, Staff Writer

It has become evident that Japan will not lend its support for a U.N. resolution to start negotiations for a treaty to ban nuclear weapons next year. On October 25, A-bomb survivors in Hiroshima expressed frustration and anger over this development.

“The stance of the Japanese government is completely different from the thoughts and feelings of the citizens of the A-bombed nation who are pushing relentlessly for the abolition of all nuclear weapons. I don’t know what to do with my anger,” said Toshiyuki Mimaki, 74, the vice chair of the Hiroshima Prefectural Confederation of A-bomb Sufferers Organizations (Hidankyo, chaired by Sunao Tsuboi).

Under a proposal suggested by the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo), Hiroshima Prefectural Hidankyo has been working hard to collect signatures, since this past April, in support of abolishing and banning all nuclear weapons. Mr. Mimaki said, “Although many countries around the world support the idea of banning nuclear weapons, Japan has now decided to follow the lead of the United States.”

Kunihiko Sakuma, 72, the chairman of the other Hiroshima Prefectural Confederation of A-bomb Sufferers Organizations, also expressed deep disappointment by saying that Japan consistently adopts the same position as the nuclear weapon states, despite declaring that the nation will serve as a bridge to bring together the nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states. Mr. Sakuma said firmly, “We can’t accept the government’s position of not supporting the U.N. resolution. We, the A-bomb survivors, must do even more to convey our clear determination to ban nuclear weapons.”

(Originally published on October 26, 2016)