It is now 77th year of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States. The human race is now facing a new danger of the use of nuclear weapons. Carrying on the aggression against Ukraine, President Putin of Russia is repeating a nuclear threat. Along with Russia, the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) are maintaining and consolidating their “nuclear deterrents.” From Hiroshima which suffered the indescribable damage of the nuclear weapons and with Hibakusha we appeal to the world: nuclear weapons are “weapons of absolute evil”; they are designed exclusively to cause human extinction, which will not allow humanity to live humanly lives or to die humanly deaths. We should never ever allow the threat or use of these weapons. The only way to end this danger is the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. With fresh determination, we move forward toward achieving a “nuclear weapon-free, peaceful and just world.”
Overcoming the present crises, international politics is moving forward. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) is the first treaty in history totally banning nuclear weapons and has entered into force. Support and the number of participating states keep increasing (66 ratification, 86 signing). The first Meeting of the States Parties to the Treaty on June 21-23 in Vienna adopted by consensus the political declaration entitled “Our Commitment to a World Free of Nuclear Weapons” (Vienna Declaration), sending out a hopeful and powerful message for a “world without nuclear weapons.” It made an unrelenting criticism against the nuclear deterrence doctrine, saying, “This highlights now more than ever the fallacy of nuclear deterrence doctrines, which are based and rely on the threat of the actual use of nuclear weapons and, hence, the risks of the destruction of countless lives, of societies, of nations, and of inflicting global catastrophic consequences.” “Vienna Action Plan”, another adopted document, elaborated on the assistance for the Hibakusha and nuclear test victims, the modality for the nuclear possessing states to join the treaty and other details to implement the treaty. It is now an undeniable reality that the TPNW is established as international law, supported by the majority of the countries in the world. If we further develop our cooperation between civil society and governments, building on the TPNW, it will be possible to open a prospect of a “world without nuclear weapons”
The fact that Russia, a nuclear superpower, openly threatened to use nuclear weapons and even put its nuclear forces on special alert without regard for the sacrifice of its own people revealed that the concept of “nuclear deterrence,” that nuclear weapons “deter the use of nuclear weapons,” can no longer work. It has become also clear that the “nuclear deterrence” is a means to invade another country and rule it by the force of nuclear threat. The “nuclear deterrence” doctrine rests on the premise of claiming countless human lives, destroying cities and their environments and causing catastrophic consequences. It leads humanity to the brink of extinction. It is time to overcome the nuclear deterrence doctrine.
The 10th NPT Review Conference is in session in New York on Aug. 1 through 26. We call on it, in which Nuclear Five participate, to contain the danger of the use of nuclear weapons and to open a prospect for a world without nuclear weapons. The NPT includes the obligation to negotiate on nuclear disarmament (Article 6), and its review conferences have so far agreed on an “unequivocal undertaking” to achieve the “complete elimination of their nuclear arsenals,” on achieving a “world without nuclear weapons,” on “making special effort” to establish “framework” for the nuclear weapon-free world, “establishing nuclear weapon-free zone in the Middle East.” Yet, not only have the nuclear weapon-states turned their back on their obligation to implement them, but even “modernization” of nuclear arsenals and consolidation of the policy to use them are being promoted. We demand that the nuclear weapon states should end those insincere attitudes, reconfirm their treaty obligations and the past agreements and implement them in good faith. The TPNW is a treaty that helps implement Article 6 of the NPT and they complement each other.
Japan is intensely called on to play a role commensurate with being the only A-bombed country in war. But the Japanese government is deepening its dependence on the US “nuclear umbrella,” opposing the TPNW, and keeps turning its back on the desire of its own people, as well as the major trend of the world. Calling for discussions about “nuclear sharing” is also a serious problem. These actions simply accelerate the vicious cycle of nuclear arms versus nuclear arms in North East Asia. We call on the Japanese government to do away with “nuclear deterrence” doctrine, and to support and express its willingness to join in the TPNW.
Russia’s aggression against Ukraine is a sheer violation of the UN Charter. We demand the withdrawal of the Russian forces and the end of all their military actions, including attacks and occupations of nuclear power plants in Ukraine. The international community should unite for the restoration of the world order based on the common rule of the UN Charter. Even if there are differences in position related to Russia, it is important to note that the first MSP to the TPNW unanimously “condemn(ed) unequivocally any and all nuclear threats.” We call for the resolution of all international conflicts by diplomacy. The problems of North Korea’s nuclear and missile development, or China’s attempt to change status quo by force in South China Sea or in East China Sea should also be addressed through dialogs and negotiations based on international law and not by military force.
We firmly oppose any move to strengthen and expand military alliances or build-up military arsenals, taking advantage of the aggression against Ukraine. It is a serious concern that the NATO at its summit conference on June 29 in Madrid adopted a new Strategic Concept to strengthen it as nuclear military alliance, greatly expand crisis response forces, and that in the Asia-Pacific region the US and others are moving to expand bilateral and multilateral military cooperation. We oppose the remolding of Japan into a war-prepared country under the Japan-US military alliance with plans for the Constitutional revision, massive military build-up and development of “enemy base attack capability”. The role to be played by the Japanese people’s movement to counter these moves is of decisive importance.
Gender perspectives need to be carried through in the nuclear disarmament process. The disproportionate impact from the use of nuclear weapons on women, and the low proportion of women in disarmament negotiations show that this is an urgent problem to be addressed. This perspective should consciously be addressed by the anti-nuclear peace movement. It is also urgent to divert resources spent for war or military build-up to address climate crisis, resolution of poverty and disparity, and protection of human rights and dignity. Achieving a “nuclear weapon-free, peaceful and just world” is now urgently required.
The decisive factor to determine the future course is the movement of the people and their opinion. We propose to lead in the following actions aimed at a nuclear weapon-free, peaceful and just world:
August 6, 2022
The 2022 World Conference against A and H Bombs
PDF file is here