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Appeal to the Japanese Government:

To propose the start of negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention, annul the Japan-US secret agreements on nuclear weapons, and abide by and implement the three non-nuclear principles

April 14, 2010
Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs

From May 3 through 28 this year, the 2010 NPT Review Conference will take place at the U.N. Headquarters in New York City.

Towards the opening of the Review Conference, the move to the elimination of nuclear weapons is gathering momentum, as seen in President Obamafs statement in April 2009 that he would gseek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weaponsh, or in the decision of the third NPT Preparatory Committee meeting in May 2009, that the coming Review Conference would refer to the final document of the 2000 Review Conference, in which the gunequivocal undertakingh of the five Nuclear Weapons States to gaccomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenalsh is the key element.

On the other hand, even after 65 years since the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, still some 23,000 nuclear weapons are stockpiled or deployed in the world. There is a serious concern over the danger of nuclear proliferation, as seen in the development of nuclear weapons by North Korea. The effort to achieve the elimination of nuclear weapons should not be delayed any further.

In September 2009, at the first U.N. Security Council Summit meeting on nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament, Prime Minister Hatoyama stated that as the only country that has suffered from atomic bombings, Japan ghas chosen this path to prevent the vicious cycle of a nuclear arms raceh, and pledged to grenew Japanfs firm commitment to the Three Non-Nuclear Principlesh and gtake the lead in the pursuit of the elimination of nuclear weaponsh.

We urge that the Japanese Government, as the government representing the only nation that has witnessed the calamity caused by nuclear attacks, will bring these pledges into action at the forthcoming NPT Review Conference, by taking initiative in accomplishing the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.

1. Propose the start of negotiations on a treaty to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons

Since last year, achieving a gnuclear weapon-free worldh is developing to be a consensus goal of the international community. But such a world cannot be attained unless the international community gets united in banning nuclear weapons by a binding treaty and abiding by and implementing the treaty.

In the U.N. General Assembly session in December 2009, 124 countries, representing almost two-thirds of the U.N. member states, voted in favor of the resolution calling for the start of negotiations on a nuclear weapons convention. These countries included India, Pakistan and North Korea, as well as the nuclear weapons state China. It attests to the fact that if the nuclear weapons states are determined, time is ripe to start negotiations on banning nuclear weapons.

Unfortunately, however, the Japanese Government, while speaking about the elimination of nuclear weapons in general, has always claimed that time is not mature, whenever specific measures, such as a ban on nuclear weapons or negotiations for that, are coming in. It thus cast a damper on the efforts by many other governments. Hope sprung when the new government was formed in September last year that it would take different approach. Yet, the recently announced joint proposal of the Japanese and Australian governments, entitled gA New Package of Practical Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Measures for the 2010 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,h is again lacking the initiative on the nuclear weapons convention or the start of negotiations on it.

On August 6, 2008, the delegates, both Japanese and overseas, to the 2008 World Conference against A & H Bombs, together launched a signature campaign focusing on the NPT Review Conference, calling on gthe nuclear weapons states and all other governments to agree to commence and conclude negotiations of a treaty, a nuclear weapons convention, to ban and eliminate nuclear weapons without delay.h The number of signatures collected to date (as of noon, April 14) amounted to 6,213,098, including those of 783 heads of municipalities and 542 speakers and vice-chairs of local assemblies.

We urge the Japanese government not to carry over the errors of the past governments through inertia, but to understand the common desire of the people of this only A-bombed country, and propose to the NPT Review Conference a swift start of negotiations for a nuclear weapons convention.

2. Abrogate Japan-U.S. secret nuclear deal and abide by and implement the Three Non-Nuclear Principles

The abrogation of the Japan-US secret agreement on nuclear weapons and the strict observance and implementation of the gThree Non-Nuclear Principlesh are also an urgent demand on the Japanese government. Even if it emphasizes outward that Japan is gthe only A-bombed countryh, speaks about the elimination of nuclear weapons, or calls for the grenunciation of nuclear programh, it will not be taken seriously if Japan itself continues to rely on the policy of use or threat of use of nuclear weapons provided by a nuclear super power.

Through the investigation and Diet discussions on the secret nuclear agreement, it is already widely known that in spite of all the words of the government on the gThree Non-Nuclear Principlesh, it has secret agreements with the U.S. that allow the U.S. warships to freely enter Japanfs territorial land and sea with nuclear weapons on board.

This situation remains unchanged. True, the U.S. president announced in 1991 that the US would withdraw non-strategic weapons from its surface ships and attack submarines. However, it is also confirmed that the US would gretain the capability to deploy nuclear cruise missiles on submarinesh (DODfs News Release on Sept. 22, 1994), and that such weapons would be re-deployed gif neededh (Defense Report of 1995).h The USfs gneither confirm nor denyh policy on the presence of nuclear weapons on board its ships is also still in force.

What is called into question is the stance of the Japanese government, rather than the policy of the U.S. administration. It should break away from the old practice, in which to betray the trust of its own people by cutting a secret deal, and honor the Three Non-Nuclear Principles. We urge Prime Minister Hatoyama to translate his September 2009 pledge of gfirmly maintaining the Three Non-Nuclear Principlesh into action, and abrogate the secret agreement, based on which nuclear weapons have been brought into Japan. The government should officially notify the U.S. and all other nuclear powers that it is Japanfs principle to disallow all forms of entry of nuclear weapons into its territory, temporarily or permanently alike.

Responding to the voices raised by the Hibakusha of Hiroshima and Nagasaki for 65 years that ghumans cannot coexist with nuclear weaponsh, people all around the world are calling for the swift abolition of nuclear weapons. Many national governments are engaged in sincere efforts to render the world nuclear weapon-free by means of a binding treaty. We urge the government that on behalf of the people who know of the nuclear tragedies it should make a sincere and discerning choice as mentioned above, prior to and during the NPT Review Conference in session. /End

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