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Fukushima calls on Japanese government to work for total ban on nuclear weapons

Published 22 December 2013

December 17, 2013

- Speaker of the House of Representatives
- Speaker of the House of Councilors
- Prime Minister
- Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications
- Minister of Foreign Affairs

Recommendation Calling for Decision and Action for a Total Ban on Nuclear Weapons

The NPT Review Conference of May 2010 agreed to “achieve the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons” and declared, “all States need to make special efforts to establish the necessary framework to achieve and maintain a world without nuclear weapons.”

With the 2015 NPT Review Conference approaching, all the governments and civil society across the world must take actions in unison to bring this goal to a reality. So far, although three years have elapsed since then, the path to reach this goal is not yet in sight.

True, a certain number of nuclear weapons, including those dealt between the U.S. and Russia, were cut down, but still some 19,000 nuclear warheads are stockpiled or deployed. Even such moves as developing nuclear weapons are continuing, as seen in the current tension on the Korean Peninsula. Whether intentional or accidental, the danger of nuclear weapons actually being used remains real.

The only way to get out of the current situation and to eliminate nuclear weapons is to totally prohibit them through the united agreement by the international community. The International Court of Justice declared that the use of nuclear weapons is “contrary to the rule of international law …, and in particular the principles and rules of humanitarian law”. As the only country to have suffered the nuclear devastation in the world, Japan has moral grounds and heavy responsibility to appeal the inhumanity of nuclear weapons and call for banning them.

If the nuclear weapon states make a decision, the U.N. Security Council or the General Assembly can confirm in consensus the need to totally ban nuclear weapons. Based on that, negotiations for a Nuclear Weapons Convention can be launched.

In the midst of increasing military tension over North Korea’s nuclear development, it will be a great contribution to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the promotion of peace and security of Japan and East Asia if Japan takes action for banning and eliminating nuclear weapons, standing on its Constitution that renounces the use and threat of force as means to resolve international disputes. We must point out that any further delay in this decision and actions is tantamount to neglecting the danger of causing a second or third Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

We sincerely call on the government of Japan to take initiatives to achieve an agreement for a total ban on nuclear weapons in the sessions of international organizations such as the NPT and the UN, so that the 2015 NPT Review Conference will become a place to launch actions for definitely attaining the “peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”

We hereby submit this recommendation in accordance with Article 99 of the Local Autonomy Act.

Hiraide Takao

Speaker, Fukushima Prefectural Assembly