Hiroshima Mayor expresses hope for next month’s conference on humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons

by Michiko Tanaka, Staff Writer

During a press conference held on November 28, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui expressed his hope that productive discussions will take place at the next conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons to be held in Vienna, Austria on December 8 and 9.

Taking into account that the Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), which is held every five years, is scheduled for the spring of 2015, Mr. Matsui stressed the importance of next month’s conference in establishing a foothold for improving the attitudes of the nuclear weapon states toward nuclear disarmament.

Outlawing nuclear weapons will be one of the subjects for discussion at the conference. With the Japanese government reluctant to advocate a nuclear weapons convention on the grounds that the nuclear powers will not support such a convention, Mr. Matsui said, “I would understand the Japanese government’s attitude if it were rigorously analyzing current conditions in order to pursue the ideal. I hope that the government will make efforts to overcome what it calls ‘the reality.’”

The conference in Austria will be the third such conference, following gatherings held in Norway in March 2013 and in Mexico in February 2014. Among the five major nuclear powers, the United States will take part in the conference for the first time. Yasuyoshi Komizo, chairperson of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, will also take part in the conference as an NGO representative. Mr. Komizo is also the secretary general of Mayors for Peace, for which Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui serves as president.

(Originally published on November 29, 2014)