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Hiroshima mayor urging solidarity with anti-nuke countries

August 1, 2013


Hiroshima to urge gov't to enhance solidarity with anti-nuke nations 



HIROSHIMA (Kyodo) -- Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui will urge the central government to strengthen its solidarity with the nations that have called for the elimination of atomic arms at the 68th anniversary of the city's atomic-bombing, according to the gist of his statement for the event released Thursday.

The phrase was incorporated into the peace declaration Matsui will read in the Aug. 6 ceremony in light of the government's failure to back a statement endorsed by dozens of countries at April's preparatory committee session in Geneva for the next Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review meeting, he told a news conference.

"The government is searching earnestly for ways to endorse it next time, so it is Hiroshima's mission to urge it to do so definitely," he said.

Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue, who released the previous day the gist of his own statement for the Aug. 9 anniversary of the city's bombing, said he will rebuke the government by saying its failure to endorse the Geneva statement "contradicts" a stance Japan should take as the only country to have suffered from atomic weapons.

Matsui, however, appears set to use softer expressions in urging the government to join the nations that demanded in the April statement that nuclear weapons not be used under any circumstances.

The gist of the Hiroshima mayor's message also stops short of clarifying the city's stance on the issue of revising the pacifist Constitution and the appropriateness of nuclear power as an energy source.

Instead, he will say Hiroshima is a city that embodies the noble principle of pacifism as upheld by the Japanese Constitution, and he will call on Tokyo to promptly establish a responsible policy by putting the top priority on citizens' livelihood and safety, according to the gist, distinguishing, he said, nuclear energy from nuclear weapons.

He will also express concern about Japan and India negotiating over nuclear cooperation that enables Japanese businesses to export nuclear power technology to the non-NPT nuclear-capable state.


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