NPDI ministerial meeting: “Hiroshima Declaration” to be issued

To call for world leaders to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki

by Jumpei Fujimura, Staff Writer

A “Hiroshima Declaration” will be prepared by the 12 non-nuclear nations of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative, including Japan and Australia, at their ministerial meeting to be held in Hiroshima on April 11 and 12 it was learned April 7. The declaration will call on world leaders, including those of nuclear nations, to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Final discussions are underway to see that the declaration focuses on the inhumanity of nuclear weapons and that it includes a call for unity in the effort to bring about a world without nuclear weapons despite nations’ varying stances on nuclear disarmament.

This will mark the first time the NPDI has called on world leaders to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In speeches delivered at a high-level meeting on nuclear disarmament at the United Nations General Assembly last September, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida called on world political leaders to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki to see the impact of the atomic bombings firsthand. Through the Hiroshima Declaration, the government intends to make this an international proposal.

As foreign minister of the host nation, Mr. Kishida will chair the NPDI ministerial meeting. In an interview with the Chugoku Shimbun, he said, “The foreign ministers of various countries will come to Hiroshima and learn firsthand about the reality of the atomic bombing. Delivering a political message after that is one reason holding the meeting here is significant.”

With regard to the growing international focus on the inhumanity of nuclear weapons, Mr. Kishida said, “In working toward a world without nuclear weapons, taking into account their inhumanity will serve as a catalyst for uniting the international community.” As for the upcoming ministerial meeting he said, “I would like to gain a consensus based on an awareness of the inhumanity of nuclear weapons and use it to issue a shared political message.”

(Originally published on April 8, 2014)