The Daily Manila Shimbun


Hiroshima hibakusha groups rap Japanʼs failure to sign nuke ban treaty

August 7, 2017

HIROSHIMA Seven organizations of hibakusha atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima Prefecture have criticized the Japanese government's policy of not signing a landmark UN nuclear weapons ban treaty that was adopted in July.

At a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a hotel in the western Japan city of Hiroshima on Sunday, the groups said, "This is a surprising attitude, so we protest against the policy with anger."

In response, Abe said only, "In the international community, there are various opinions about how to proceed with nuclear disarmament."

The treaty to ban the use, possession and production of nuclear weapons was adopted at the UN headquarters in New York on July 7 with support by more than 120 countries.

Nuclear weapons states and most nuclear umbrella states, including Japan, the only country attacked with nuclear weapons, did not participate in the negotiations on setting the treaty.

Referring to the crushing defeat of Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party in the July 2 Tokyo metropolitan assembly election, Yukio Yoshioka, 88, an official of one of the seven groups, said at the meeting with Abe, "The government's opposition to the treaty is trampling on Japanese people's wish (for the abolition of nuclear weapons)."

He said, "The government would face harsher criticism and be pushed into a corner if it continues to take this stance."

Meanwhile, Sunao Tsuboi, 92, head of another organization, called for an early relocation of the aging facility of the Radiation Effects Research Foundation so that the foundation's activities will continue to be utilized for human beings.

Abe vowed to offer support to help promote a study on the matter.

After the meeting, Yoshioka expressed frustration, noting that the prime minister made no remarks at all about the seven groups' request for Japan to join the nuclear weapons ban treaty. Jiji Press