For Peace & Planet Strategy Discussion Forum, September 18, 2021
KIDO Sueichi, Secretary General and
WADA Masako, Assistant Secretary General
Japan Confederation of A-and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo)
Kido Sueichi: What I found in Nagasaki immediately after the atomic bombing were empty and gray city streets, corpses scattered on the ground, swarms of staggering people fleeing from ground zero and piles of bodies of people in Urakami River, who had sought water and perished there. It was an atomic hell beyond all imagination, which should never have been created. This was the Day One for me, in my life as a Hibakusha.
Hidankyo’s Answers to the Questions to be Discussed:
– Priorities of our organization and movement
Nihon Hidankyo is a national organization of the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings. For the last 65 years since its founding in 1956, we have focused on: Ensuring there would never be another Hibakusha to be created; Urging the U.S., the other nuclear-armed states and people all over the world to abolish all nuclear weapons; and Demanding state compensation from the Japanese government for the damage and suffering caused by the atomic bombing.
– How best to understand and respond to the increasingly dangerous landscape and challenges of the still confrontational global disorder?
Nihon Hidankyo has made clear the fact that nuclear weapons are weapons of evil, aiming only at total annihilation and that they cannot coexist with human beings. The only sure way to save the human community from nuclear destruction is to eliminate these weapons. This is what we have appealed, and continue to appeal, to the world.
– How should we understand the increasingly confrontational U.S./NATO vs. China and Russia military and related policies? What are their implications for nuclear weapons abolition advocacy and for future actions?
Responding to armed-conflicts using military forces cannot prevent the escalation of confrontations. Renunciation of armed forces, i.e., non-possession of military forces and non-use of them, should be the only path towards solving confrontation. We firmly believe that solving confrontations can be achieved only through diplomacy and dialogues.
The mission of the government of Japan should be to strictly observe its constitution, especially the war-renouncing Article 9, in its diplomacy. In addition to our demand for the abolition of nuclear weapons and state compensation for the A-bomb damage, we call on our government to protect and make best use of the Constitution of Japan.
We have been working for 65 years with many supporters, and thanks to our combined efforts, nuclear weapons are now declared illegal by international law.
Although the Japanese government refuses to sign and ratify the Treaty, 71% of the Japanese public support the TPNW. Hidankyo is now working on a signature campaign calling on the Government of Japan to sign and ratify the Treaty. (You can sign this petition in English online from our website) Out of all 1788 local assemblies in Japan, 598 (33% of the total) have adopted the resolutions to call on the Japanese government to join the TPNW.
Not only in Japan but in many countries of the world, people who desire for a world without nuclear weapons have been supporting us. We are grateful that the Union of Concerned Scientists shared our message by providing a space on their website this summer.
We continue to talk about our own experiences, although each of us suffer and every time we relive our moments of agony and grief. The sense of mission and determination have been sustaining the Hibakusha. Please give us the opportunity to share our experiences and know what the A-bombs did and continue to do to human beings.