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Kawasaki of ICAN talks to students

November 8, 2017




ICAN member reaches out to Japanese students




A member of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons has called on Japanese college students to ponder what Japan can do to make a world free of nuclear arms. ICAN won this year's Nobel Peace Prize for its contribution to the adoption of a landmark UN treaty to ban nuclear weapons.

Akira Kawasaki is the only Japanese member of ICAN's international steering group. He spoke to about 350 students at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto on Tuesday.

He explained how ICAN has been asking governments to support the treaty. He also told the students that survivors of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have been sharing their experiences and are collecting signatures to promote the treaty.

Kawasaki said various civic movements collectively helped to change the mindset of possessing nuclear weapons and led to the treaty's adoption.

He noted that Japan is seeking the abolition of nuclear arms as the only country to have suffered atomic bombings, while depending on the US nuclear umbrella in the face of threats from North Korea.

Kawasaki urged the students to think about whether fear of the North's nuclear weapons can justify Japan's dependence on the nuclear umbrella.

More than 50 nations have signed the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. But it is opposed by all the nuclear powers and countries such as Japan that are under the nuclear umbrella.



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