Japan Confederation of A- and H-bomb Sufferers Organizations to hold A-bomb exhibition at UN during NPT Review Conference

by Jumpei Fujimura, Staff Writer

The Japan Confederation of A- and H-bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo) continued its meeting in Tokyo on October 21 with representatives from each prefecture and confirmed that it will hold an A-bomb exhibition at United Nations Headquarters next spring during the NPT Review Conference. The Review Conference is held every five years. The two-day meeting closed after completing the agenda and adopting an appeal.

Terumi Tanaka, secretary general of Nihon Hidankyo, described the A-bomb exhibition that will take place in the lobby of the UN Headquarters building. He said, “The A-bomb exhibition held at the last Review Conference was well received and had a very good response. As next year will be the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings, we would like to do everything we can to make this exhibition a success.” About 50 items will be exhibited, including picture panels which highlight the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons.

The participants adopted an appeal which states they will uphold Article 9 of the Constitution in order to bring about a world without nuclear weapons or wars. Referring to the joint statement on the humanitarian consequences and no-use of nuclear weapons, issued by the First Committee (disarmament) of the UN General Assembly in New York and supported by 155 countries and regions including Japan, Nihon Hidankyo’s appeal demands that Japan, which endured the atomic bombings, play a leading role in abolishing nuclear weapons.

After the meeting, the participants exchanged views in the Diet building with an official from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, and submitted a petition calling for improvements in relief measures for A-bomb survivors and other requests. They asked that the regular meeting with the Minister of Health, Nihon Hidankyo, and other organizations be held at an early date to discuss issues concerning the A-bomb disease certification system, cancer screenings for second-generation survivors, and investigation into the actual conditions involving the health and lives of this second generation.

Tomonori Izawa, director of the ministry’s A-bomb Survivor Support Office, apologized that the regular meetings have not been held for more than a year and said that he would like to proceed with arranging the next meeting.

(Originally published on October 22, 2014)