Toward the NPT Review Conference
and the 60th Anniversary
- A Citizen's Assembly to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
Appeal Issued February 19, 2005
We are greeting a major milestone, the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We are also witnessing a swelling movement around the world for “Abolition now! Eliminate all nuclear weapons!” We have joined in this movement and leading up to the 7th Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference in May, we came from around Japan to gather in Tokyo.
Is the human family forgetting the horror of the nuclear weapons that incinerated hundreds of thousands of people and instantly turned two cities into radioactive wastelands? Has the hibakusha shout, “No More Hibakushas,” lost its meaning? The Earth still bristles with 30,000 nuclear warheads, and we have yet to chart any sort of course toward the banning and abolition of these heinous weapons. Instead, we face a crisis of vertical and horizontal proliferation as desperate nations fall for the illusion of nuclear security.
The NPT regime has been the foundation of international efforts to prevent proliferation and abolish nuclear weapons. Human reason has led to numerous efforts to abolish weapons and wars by strengthening the rule of law through multilateral talks. Despite its defects, the NPT is absolutely one of those efforts. However, the egotistical refusal by the superpowers to show the “good faith” promised in Article 6 has brought the NPT to a crisis of trust.
The 5 years since the 6th Review Conference in 2000 have brought this crisis into high relief. The nuclear-weapon states promised an “unequivocal undertaking to accomplish the total elimination of their arsenals” and agreed to 13 practical steps, but these promises appear to have meant nothing. The United States of America, now the world’s lone superpower, has demonstrated the opposite of good faith by planning refurbishing its strategic nuclear stockpile to assure semi-permanent viability, rejecting the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), resuming research on new nuclear weapons, and declaring its willingness to strike first with nuclear weapons even against non-nuclear states.
The danger of losing the NPT regime altogether is real. If even a few nations continue to insist that nuclear weapons are vital to their national security, others will undoubtedly pursue that option. If precious multilateral agreements obtained through years of negotiation is so easily discounted by some parties, we will never solve the new issues required to strengthen the NPT and prevent withdrawal.
In light of the above, we demand the following from the States parties to the 7th NPT Review Conference, including Japan.
- The NPT Review Conference must not step back from the 2000 agreement. Instead, standing upon that agreement, the Conference must pursue “systematic and progressive efforts” toward nuclear disarmament as agreed in 1995.
- Based on “an unequivocal undertaking by nuclear weapon States to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenal,” the Review Conference must establish a standing committee to create an action program for complete elimination. This committee must not be allowed to bog down regardless of a stalemate of the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.
For the 7th Review Conference to fulfill such aims, it will require political leadership with a firm determination to achieve nuclear abolition. We believe that the Japanese Government must exert this leadership because of its experience with the inhumane horror of nuclear weapons and Japan’s strong public support for abolition. And yet, the Japanese Government appears to believe nuclear weapons are necessary for national security and continues to rely on the “nuclear umbrella” offered by the US. By extension, this position implies that Japan will arm itself with nuclear weapons when it can no longer rely on the “nuclear umbrella.” If Japan is not allowed to develop its own weapons, it will continue to meekly obey US orders to avoid losing the “nuclear umbrella.” Under these circumstances, Japan will be unable to display leadership for nuclear abolition.
At a time when we face such critical danger from nuclear proliferation, Japan, “as the only nation to have suffered a nuclear attack” must fulfill its sacred mission and work sincerely for abolition. The time has come for Japan to declare a major shift in its nuclear policy. Fortunately, the Mayors for Peace, presided over by the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, have proposed a nuclear abolition program called 2020 Vision. The goal is to start negotiations in 2005 mandated by the 7th Review Conference and achieve a “nuclear free world” by 2020. International enthusiasm for this campaign is growing, as seen in resolutions passed by Japan Associations of City Mayors and the US Conference of Mayors.
Based on the above, we demand that the Japanese Government:
- Declare at the Review Conference its support for the 2020 Vision, demanding the start of negotiations for nuclear disarmament by the NPT. It is consistent to our demand to the Review Conference stated above.
- Press hard for a Northeast Asia Nuclear Free Zone with strict verification, and make clear that Japan security policy turns sharp from dependency on nuclear weapons. Only these steps will enable Japan to restore its moral standing and leadership in the struggle for nuclear abolition.
We hereby deliver our appeal in the name of the gathering “Toward the NPT Rev Con and the 60th Anniversary -- A Citizen's Assembly to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.”
Executive Committee member organizations:
- Citizens’ Network for Nuclear Weapons Abolition (convener)
- Hiroshima Alliance for Nuclear Weapons Abolition (HANWA) (convener)
- Citizens’ Association of Nagasaki for Nuclear Weapon Free World (convener)
- FEMIN Women's Democratic Club
- Greenpeace Japan
- HIDANKYO ( Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations)
- Japan Association of Lawyers against Nuclear Arms (JALANA)
- Japan Congress Against A- and H-Bombs (GENSUIKIN)
- Japan Council against A & H Bombs (GENSUIKYO)
- National Christian Council in Japan, Peace and Nuclear Issues Committee
- Peace Boat
- Peace Depot
- Setagaya Congress Against A- and H-Bombs (Setagaya GENSUIKIN)
- Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) of Japan
- Wakayama Association of Atomic Bomb Survivers
- Being Health Group in Hokkaido
- Japanese Medical & Dental Practitioners For the Improvement of Medical Care
- Japan Seinendan Council
- Nuclear Free Zone Citizens Network Japan
- Terra Renaissance
- Utsunomiya Disarmament Research Institute
Individual Members and Supporters of Approximately 200, including;
Seiji ARIHARA (animation movie director), Tetsuo ASHIDA (actor/director), Yuzo ITAGAKI (Professor Emeritus, University of Tokyo), Hisao IWASHIMA (international politico-military analyst), Hiroto KIRYU (Photo-Journalist), Katsumoto SAOTOME (writer), Sayuri YOSHINAGA (actor), Reiko YUKAWA (music critic, song writer), Sumi YUKAWA (President Emeritus, WFM), Ichie WATANABE (writer)
Peace Depot, Inc.
3-3-1-102, Minowa-cho, Kohoku-ku, Yokohama, 223-0051 Japan