Lawmakers ask foreign minister to convey message about inhumanity of nuclear weapons at NPDI meeting

Members of the New Komeito party met with Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, elected from district one in Hiroshima, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on April 2. They requested that a message about the inhumanity of nuclear weapons be delivered at the foreign ministerial meeting of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI), scheduled for April 11 and 12 in Hiroshima. The lawmakers are members of the party’s nuclear abolition promotion committee and prefectural and municipal assemblies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Natsuo Yamaguchi, Chief Representative of New Komeito, and 27 members of the party visited the ministry and handed Mr. Kishida a written request. This request called the NPDI foreign ministers’ meeting a golden opportunity for Japan to send out a message to the world. It urged the Japanese government to unite nations which hold different attitudes toward nuclear disarmament.

The request also called for establishing new standards for outlawing the use of nuclear weapons along with encouraging nuclear nations to take part in a nuclear abolition summit in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 2015, the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing.

After meeting with the foreign minister, Mr. Yamaguchi expressed his desire for Mr. Kishida, who will chair the meeting, to exercise leadership. “I hope he will play the role of consolidating various movements involving nuclear disarmament,” Mr. Yamaguchi said. The party’s acting secretary general, Tetsuo Saito, elected from the Chugoku proportional block, said, “I hope this meeting will be the first step in eliminating nuclear weapons. Mr. Kishida is from Hiroshima and I felt his strong motivation.”

(Originally published on April 3, 2014)