A-Bombed Cities’ Mayors, Students Denounce N-Weapons at U.N. Meeting

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui

New York, Nov. 29 (Jiji Press)—The Hiroshima and Nagasaki mayors, as well as high school students from the two atomic-bombed Japanese cities, spoke out against nuclear weapons at an international conference in New York on Wednesday.

Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui and Nagasaki Mayor Shiro Suzuki expressed concerns about the growing threats of nuclear weapons at the second meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

During the third-day session of the five-day conference at the U.N. headquarters in the U.S. city, Matsui said Russia’s threat to use nuclear weapons in its invasion of Ukraine and escalating distrust between nuclear haves and have-nots could “lead to a situation that completely undermines the fervent plea of hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) that ‘no one else should suffer as we have.’”

Also voicing grave concerns that “the use of nuclear weapons has been implied as a concrete and realistic action” in the Ukraine crisis, Suzuki called on the whole world “to go back to the very beginning to reflect on what happened to the human being beneath the mushroom cloud 78 years ago.”

Meanwhile, Minori Yasuno, 17, from Nagasaki Higashi High School and Kokoro Ozaki, 16, from AICJ High School in Hiroshima underlined the inhumanity of nuclear weapons by showing a photo taken in Nagasaki of a boy burned black due to the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing of the city.

Yasuno quoted hibakusha as saying: “Humans cannot coexist with nuclear weapons. Do not make the same mistake again.”

“The two atomic bombs did not allow survivors to live and pass away humanly,” Ozaki also said.

“It is our responsibility to take actions for the abolition of nuclear weapons and achieve a sustainable peace without weapons,” Yasuno stressed.

Representatives from Germany, Norway and Belgium, which are NATO members and not signatories of the U.N. treaty, referred to Russia’s nuclear threat and threw their support behind NATO’s nuclear deterrence.

But at the same time, they said they came to attend the conference as observers to call for constructive dialogue between all countries.

Under the U.S. nuclear umbrella, Japan has not signed the treaty and refrained from joining treaty meetings even as an observer.