23 Octobre 2015
October 21, 2015
By HAJIMU TAKEDA/ Staff Writer
Japan hopes “hibakusha” will become a household term with resonance on a world-wide level.
The word is packed with powerful energy and tragic imagery as it is the Japanese noun meaning “a survivor of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima or Nagasaki.”
But hibakusha is little known outside of Japan.
In submitting a resolution on the abolition of nuclear weapons to the U.N. General Assembly on Oct. 20, the Japanese government used “Hibakushas” for the first time to mark the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of the two cities in the closing days of World War II.
While similar resolutions have been jointly submitted by Japan and other nations since 1994, this year’s resolution particularly calls for political leaders and young people from around the world to listen to the accounts of the terror of nuclear bombings from hibakusha themselves.
Several dozen countries, including the United States, plan to sign the resolution, which was submitted to the U.N. General Assembly’s First Committee that deals with disarmament and security issues.
The Japanese government hopes to collect support from as many countries as possible to make the resolution a vital guideline for the United Nations’ efforts on nuclear disarmament.
During a meeting of the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons in April, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida called for world leaders to visit his hometown of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
His message was intended to encourage leaders to face up to the heinous consequences of nuclear warfare, but the proposal was not included in the conference’s Final Document because China opposed it, claiming it only emphasized damages incurred on Japan during the war.
To avoid a similar block, Japan’s resolution did not call for the world leaders to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki and instead said their “visits to the cities devastated by the use of nuclear weapons” should be encouraged.