LaLa Co-op held an online peace study lecture on February 20 with about 100 participants as an opportunity to think about what each individual can do to realize a world free of nuclear weapons.
Ms. NAKAMURA Keiko, Associate Professor of Nagasaki University, Research Center for Nuclear Weapons Abolition, spoke about the relationship between the NPT and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the significance of Japan's participation as an observer at the First Conference of the States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and what individuals can do to achieve nuclear weapons abolition.
Associate Professor NAKAMURA stated, "The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons aims to change the world's perception that it is shameful to possess nuclear weapons. Recently, there have been movements such as avoiding the use of banks that invest in companies that manufacture nuclear weapons and refusing to work for companies that manufacture nuclear weapons. Through such actions, individual people can demonstrate their will to abolish nuclear weapons. In addition, Japan needs to participate as an observer in the First Conference of the States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and to inform the world about the Atomic Bomb Victims' Relief Law and the devastation caused by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident."
She concluded by saying that the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will promote a new concept of changing the world in which as if the strong are just and creating a world that protects the safety of each individual, and that all citizens are the main actors responsible for making this a reality.
Associate Professor NAKAMURA Keiko talking at the event
Subsequently, Mr. TANAKA Shigemitsu, Chairman of the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Survivors Council, spoke about his own experience of the horrific situation at the time of the atomic bombing and the current situation of Hibakusha (Atomic bomb survivors) who continue to suffer even 76 years after the bombing.
He also introduced the Japan Confederation of A-and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo), which was formed in the wake of the Bikini Incident, in which 1,000 Japanese tuna fishing boats, including the Daigo Fukuryu Maru, were exposed to radiation, which triggered a signature campaign against atomic and hydrogen bomb testing and the enactment of the Atomic Bomb Victims' Relief Law.
He explained that the Japan Confederation of A-and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations, through its activities, has defined a firm viewpoint of criticizing nuclear weapons from the standpoint of human beings and summarized the basic demands of the Hibakusha.
In closing, he expressed his enthusiasm to cooperate in making efforts toward the abolition of nuclear weapons, as the average age of Hibakusha is now 83 years old and the era of no Hibakusha is approaching.
Mr. TANAKA Shigemitsu (Chairman) speaking (left) and participants (right)
Some feedback from the participants include, "I learned that it is each and every one of us who can make a world without nuclear weapons a reality," "I realized that we need to know more about the thoughts and feelings of the Hibakusha."