The historic Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted by voting in the United Nations. Japan, however, opposed the treaty and refused to attend the meeting. The treaty is epoch-making as it refutes a nuclear deterrent policy. It will help to ease the tense situation around the Korean Peninsula and lead to a peaceful settlement of the conflict. The Abe government’s stance is scorned by the rest of the world.
JAPAN’S DISGRACEFUL REFUSAL TO PARTICIPATE IN TREATY
As Japanese we feel shameful to see the Abe government’s stance. The administration opposes the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons and refuses to join the negotiation process to conclude the international pledge. One hundred and twenty-four countries out of the total UN members of 193 attended the meeting and favored the treaty, except for the Netherlands, a NATO member, voting against and Singapore abstaining.
Those who did not attend were nuclear powers; US, UK, France, Russia and China. US, UK and France released a joint statement which says they do not intend to sign, ratify or ever become party to it. Japan has agreed with them.
Term Hibakusha Incorporated
Survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic-bombing, the Hibakushas in Japanese, have long campaigned for elimination of nuclear weapons. Their efforts have impacted on peoples of the world and the term Hibakushas was incorporated in the preamble of the treaty for approval. Nevertheless, the posture of Japanese government is too coward and irredeemable; despite a fact that the country is the sole nation which was atomic-bombed it entirely depends on the nuclear umbrella of the United States and faithfully follows her policy line.
Treaty Prohibits Nuclear Menace
Reportedly, a high-ranking official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan said angrily; ‘the ministry is absolutely against the treaty that does not admit existence of nuclear powers in spite of the conducts of the North’. The Japanese government was provably irritated, in particular, with a fact that it prohibits ‘the use, development, experiment, possession and transfer of such weapons’ and ‘threatening others by using nukes (=menace)’.
The treaty does not bind nations that do not ratify it: Japan and NATO member countries which are controlled by the US nuclear umbrella. But the treaty is an international convention that impedes justification of nuclear deterrent.
Some newspapers say that pressures on the nations of Latin America and Africa from the US, UK and France were extremely strong as a Latin American diplomat told: ‘we had been banged on the door violently’. That means the treaty should restrain nuclear powers.
Abe Administration ? Menace
The Korean Peninsula and adjacent areas are tense due to nuclear issues. The Japanese government should be the first to ratify the treaty and have a moral responsibility to persuade ‘the North’ to suspend the nuclear program as it claims ‘the situation of the North is so serious’. Republic of Korea (ROK) may not ratify the treaty easily due to various factors, but the government makes efforts to have a dialogue between the North and the South, restraining aggressive drive of the Trump administration.
The Japanese government, however, in comparison with the behaviors of ROK, loyally follows the US, although it is in the position to become the first to ratify the convention. The stance is absurd.
As for the number of nuclear warheads, the US possesses 6,800, while ‘the North’ does 10-20 units, reportedly. The experiments conducted to today by nuclear powers count over 2,000. The adoption tells us that it is a good chance to cut off a vicious circle of nuclear threat by a superpower against a small nation and the latter’s response to develop a nuclear program. And it is right time to undermine a myth of nuclear deterrent.
It is said that the Japanese government promotes its nuclear energy program because it demonsrates the world that the nation has potential to produce massive amount of nuclear weapons (=nuclear deterrent). As long as the Abe government survives, establishment of nuclear-free status of the Korean Peninsula goes further.
We must overthrow the Abe administration. We keep fighting to establish a government that should ratify the Treaty of the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
July 25, 2017