Shared understanding of inhumanity of nuclear weapons needed Foreign minister, mayors of Hiroshima, Nagasaki engage in dialogue

by Shigeru Sakata, Staff Writer

At a convention on June 2, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida expressed his intention to work toward a world without nuclear weapons. In the run-up to the review conference of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty scheduled for April of next year, Mr. Kishida said the nations of the world must share an understanding of the inhumanity of nuclear weapons in order to achieve this goal. The foreign minister, who represents Hiroshima District No. 1, made his remarks in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture at a convention marking the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the National Council of Japan Nuclear-Free Local Authorities.

Mr. Kishida, who shared the platform with Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui and Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue, said, “We must use an awareness of the inhumanity of nuclear weapons as a catalyst to bring nuclear and non-nuclear nations together.”

Mayor Matsui outlined a petition drive being conducted by Mayors for Peace to rally international public opinion in favor of a nuclear weapons convention. Mayor Taue said, “It is important for Hiroshima and Nagasaki to cooperate with other municipalities in order for people to recognize that the abolition of nuclear weapons is an issue of concern to the entire world.”

Mr. Kishida added, “The public’s understanding is essential in order to obtain the central government’s cooperation in the effort. To that end, the efforts of local governments will be important.”

The convention was attended by representatives of 83 of the 303 local governments throughout Japan that belong to the council as well as about 300 members of the public. The council representatives decided to send a delegation to the NPT review conference.

(Originally published on June 3, 2014)