Hiroshima governor and mayor call for collaboration to advance nuclear abolition at PrepCom event

by Michiko Tanaka, Staff Writer

New York – On April 30, Hiroshima Prefecture organized a panel discussion at United Nations Headquarters in New York, where the third session of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is taking place. The event, the first of its kind sponsored by Hiroshima Prefecture, was designed to appeal for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Both Hiroshima Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki and Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui took part in the discussion, reporting on the efforts being made by the A-bombed site to call for unity in this cause.

The theme of the discussion was "Putting Hiroshima's Experience into Action for the Future." The two leaders shared their views with six panelists including Angela Kane, U.N. high representative for disarmament affairs.

Governor Yuzaki introduced the “Hiroshima for Global Peace” plan, which the prefecture has been promoting. This plan includes the “Hiroshima Report,” which rates 31 nations for their performance in areas involving nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation. Mr. Yuzaki stressed that Hiroshima can become a catalyst in helping people overcome ideological differences and join hands in advancing the abolition of nuclear weapons. Mayor Matsui outlined the undertakings of Mayors for Peace, for which he serves as president, and emphasized his desire to bring together the broad wish for peace by people beyond national borders and generations in order to realize the abolition of nuclear weapons by the year 2020, the goal of Mayors for Peace.

Ms. Kane agreed and said that the leadership of Hiroshima Prefecture and the City of Hiroshima is important and that the memory of Hiroshima holds the power to promote nuclear disarmament. Representatives from NGOs who took part in the discussion also voiced calls for collaboration, one after another.

After the discussion, Mr. Yuzaki assessed his first time taking part in a PrepCom and said that he was able to exert Hiroshima’s presence at the session and that he would like to elevate the level of efforts being taken for the abolition of nuclear arms. He then left for the United Kingdom, the next leg of his business trip.

Touching on the activities of the high school students that the Hiroshima Peace Cultural Foundation has sent to the PrepCom, marking a first for the foundation, Mr. Matsui said that the students have successfully conveyed the consequences of the atomic bombing in their own words and that they form the foundation for handing down the A-bomb experience to younger generations. The mayor is scheduled to return to Hiroshima on the night of May 2.

Meanwhile, on April 30, the PrepCom entered discussion on specific items, including disarmament issues, after concluding the general discussion where government representatives addressed nuclear issues more broadly.

(Originally published on May 2, 2014)