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Resona bans lending to those developing, making or possessing nuclear weapons

This screen capture shows a Resona statement prohibiting lending to entities that develop, produce or possess nuclear weapons.
January 7, 2019
TOKYO — Resona Holdings Inc., a major financial group in Japan, has announced a policy of not extending loans to borrowers that are involved in the development, production or possession of nuclear weapons.
The statement, the first of its kind by a major Japanese banking institution, came amid similar moves by an increasing number of European banks and institutional investors following the adoption at the United Nations of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in 2017.
Whether other Japanese corporations will follow Resona’s action is a focus of attention for the future. There were other lenders banning loans for the production of nuclear weapons, but the Resona policy prohibits any loans to such companies even when such transactions are for non-nuclear related purposes.
The new posture was incorporated in a document titled “Efforts toward socially responsible investment and loans,” which was announced in November last year. According to the paper, Resona refuses to lend to those that are associated with the development, production or possession of weapons of mass destruction, such as nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, or inhuman weaponry including antipersonnel mines and cluster munitions. Entities that can be subject to relevant restrictions or sanctions, or even those with the potential to be hit with such punitive measures, will be rejected as borrowers, the document says.
An official with Resona, which has never lent to companies making nuclear weapons, explained that the banking group decided to introduce the policy “because we thought it important for providers of funds to make such efforts toward a sustainable society.”
According to the Dutch nongovernmental organization PAX, 63 financial institutions had similar lending policies as of October 2017, an increase of nine from the previous year.
A Mainichi Shimbun poll of four Japanese mega banks — Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Mizuho Financial Group and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings — as well as four major life insurance companies — Nippon, Dai-ichi, Meiji Yasuda and Sumitomo — found that all of the eight companies and groups have policies to refrain from lending and investment over inhuman weapons. Yet the entities did not specify the production of nuclear weapons as a condition to disengage from borrowers.
Officials at Sumitomo Mitsui and Mizuho replied that their companies ban loans to be used in the production of nuclear weapons, while a Mitsubishi UFJ official explained that the company is “making careful judgment in each transaction.”

January 20, 2019 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment

Anti-Nuke NGO Hikabusha at U.N. Conference on Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty


Toshiki Fujimori, left, hands folded paper cranes to the representatives of countries participating in the United Nations Conference to negotiate a ban on nuclear weapons at the United Nations headquarters in New York on March 31, 2017.

Anti-nuke NGO hands paper cranes to delegates at U.N. conference

NEW YORK — As the first session of the United Nations conference to negotiate a ban on nuclear weapons wrapped up here on March 31, an atomic bomb survivor and Nagasaki University students had a special present for each of the government representatives: a folded paper crane.

By handing the representatives this symbol of peace, Hiroshima atomic bomb survivor Toshiki Fujimori, 73, and the students conveyed their hope for the establishment of a U.N. treaty outlawing nuclear weapons. The cranes were an initiative planned by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a non-governmental organization (NGO).

“I hope that the cranes will remind the representatives of their determination to abolish nuclear weapons each time they see them,” Fujimori commented.

Hanako Mitsuoka, 21, a third-year student at Nagasaki University and a Nagasaki Youth Delegation member, said everyone took the cranes with smiles on their faces.

ICAN called for the participation of more countries during the conference by also placing the cranes on the seats of representatives of countries that did not participate, including Japan, and running a campaign on social media posting pictures of the non-participating countries’ flags and a signboard with the message “Wish you were here.”

Fujimori, who gave a speech to the conference on its opening day on March 27, conveyed his determination to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

“There is no doubt that there is high hope for us members of civil society to abolish nuclear weapons, so we must act in order to meet those expectations,” he said.

A-bomb survivor comments on treaty talks

A representative of a group of atomic bomb survivors has criticized the Japanese government for its refusal to join UN discussions on a legally-binding treaty to ban nuclear weapons.

Toshiki Fujimori is an assistant secretary general of Nihon Hidankyo, or the Japan Confederation of Atomic and Hydrogen Bomb Sufferers Organizations.

He said many participants during the first round described the experience of “hibakusha” or atomic bomb survivors. Fujimori himself told the General Assembly about his experience.

He said he expects Japanese officials to take a seat at the negotiating table and accept the outcome of the first round of talks. He says he believes a good treaty can be drafted in the next round.


Ambassador Thomas Hajnoczi

Word ‘hibakusha’ should be in nuke ban treaty preamble: Austrian U.N. delegate

NEW YORK — The permanent representative of Austria to the United Nations in Geneva has told the Mainichi Shimbun he hopes a treaty on the nuclear weapons ban being negotiated at the U.N. headquarters here will include the term “hibakusha” — a Japanese word for those exposed to radiation.

Ambassador Thomas Hajnoczi, who played a leading role in five days of international negotiations between March 27 and 31, told the Mainichi that he is lobbying other participating countries to push for the addition of “hibakusha” in the treaty’s preamble, and said he believes the word will indeed be included since no countries are opposed to the idea.

The term “hibakusha” used here is not just referring to survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings, but those who were exposed to radiation from nuclear tests around the world.

The Austrian representative emphasized during a meeting on March 31 that articles on support measures for the victims of nuclear blasts should be included in the treaty since it will focus on human rights issues derived from nuclear weapons.

He also touched on the speeches made by atomic bombing survivors invited to the talks during the March 28 meeting and said he was moved by them. He argued that in the preamble, it is important to refer to suffering that the victims of nuclear explosions have been going through, a central part of the treaty.

Toshiki Fujimori, assistant secretary general of the Japan Confederation of Atomic and Hydrogen Bomb Sufferers Organizations, who was exposed to the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, told the U.N. meeting on March 27 that the treaty must reflect the calls of hibakusha “in express terms so that the world makes remarkable progress toward nuclear weapons abolition.”

Another hibakusha from the Hiroshima bombing, Setsuko Thurlow, who now lives in Canada, also made an address during the meeting, saying that she wanted the world to feel the souls of those who died in the two bombings.



April 1, 2017 Posted by | World Nuclear | , | Leave a comment

1st round of nuclear weapons ban treaty talks ends, aims to draft treaty next month


1st round of nuclear weapons ban treaty talks ends

Delegates from 115 countries have wrapped up the first round of talks on a proposed international treaty to ban nuclear weapons.
The 5-day meeting ended on Friday at United Nations headquarters in New York. It was held following a resolution adopted last December by the UN General Assembly. Non-nuclear countries such as Austria led efforts to press for the adoption.
The next round of talks is scheduled to be held from the middle of June to early July.
Costa Rican Ambassador Elayne Whyte Gomez chaired the meeting. She said there was constructive discussion on the scope, legal framework, and methods to prohibit nuclear arms.
She added delegates will aim to adopt a draft treaty by July 7th, the deadline for the next negotiations.
A UN statement said the discussion this time was about making nuclear arms illegal. It said the elimination process will be decided in later talks.
Nuclear-weapons countries such as the US and Russia are not participating in the negotiations.
Japan, the only country to have experienced atomic bombings, is also absent. It says nuclear disarmament should be a phased process involving the nuclear nations.

Head of nuclear arms ban talks aims to draft treaty next month

NEW YORK — The president of a conference on establishing a convention to outlaw nuclear weapons said she aims to draw up a draft of the convention next month and have it adopted in July.

The five-day first round of the conference, which was held at the United Nations headquarters in New York, ended on March 31.

Over 100 countries are participating in the conference, and many of them have expressed hope that a treaty to outlaw the use, production, possession, stockpiling and experiments of nuclear arms will be concluded.

Elayne Whyte Gomez, Costa Rican ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva and president of the conference, will draw up a draft while coordinating views among participating countries, and is expected to present the draft to the participating states as early as late May.

Whyte also said a meeting will be held in Geneva by June to exchange opinions between the countries involved, and she aims to have it adopted by the end of the second round of the conference to be held from June 15 to July 7.

About 40 countries, including the five major nuclear states — the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China — and NATO members and others that rely on the U.S. nuclear umbrella, are opposed to a treaty that would ban nuclear arms and are not participating in the conference.

Japanese disarmament ambassador Nobushige Takamizawa announced in a speech at the outset of the conference on March 27 that Tokyo would not participate in the talks.

April 1, 2017 Posted by | World Nuclear | , | 1 Comment

Japan’s vote against nuke ban talks mocks its anti-nuke credo

The first round of negotiations on a nuclear ban treaty is expected to be held in March next year. The United States and other nuclear powers have indicated they will boycott the talks. But Kishida has said Japan will be at the negotiating table.


Toshio Sano, Japanese ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament, meet reporters at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Oct. 27 after Japan voted against a resolution calling for negotiations on a treaty that would outlaw nuclear weapons.

The first round of negotiations on a nuclear ban treaty is expected to be held in March next year. The United States and other nuclear powers have indicated they will boycott the talks. But Kishida has said Japan will be at the negotiating table.

Japan’s vote against a United Nations resolution calling for talks on a treaty to ban nuclear arms has made a mockery of its pledge to lead the movement toward a world without nuclear weapons, as the only country that has suffered nuclear attacks.

The U.N. General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament and International Security adopted a resolution to start formal negotiations next year on a treaty to outlaw nuclear weapons. In the vote, 123 nations supported the resolution, with 38 opposed.

The United Nations’ decision to embark on full-fledged discussions on a legal framework to ban nuclear arms represents a historic move.

But Japan, along with nuclear powers the United States, Russia, Britain and France, voted against the measure.

Japan has been cautious about negotiating such a treaty. But its vote against the resolution is tantamount to declaring that it is now taking a position closer to those of the nuclear powers. It is hard to fathom the reason for Japan taking this extremely regrettable action.

No wonder the Japanese government’s action has triggered a barrage of criticism by hibakusha, or the survivors of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as various non-governmental organizations devoted to the cause of world peace both at home and abroad.

It is obvious that the use of nuclear weapons is inhumanity at its worst. But there is no international law that bans nuclear arms.

Austria and other non-nuclear states that have sponsored the resolution have made a convincing case for negotiating a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons as a first step toward their elimination.

The United States has expressed especially strong opposition to the move. The principal reason for Washington’s vehement objection is that the proposed treaty would disturb the delicate balance of international security based on nuclear deterrence.

The United States has also called on its allies protected by its “nuclear umbrella,” including Japan and NATO members, to vote against the resolution, claiming that their security, too, would be affected by the envisioned treaty.

As a result, South Korea, Australia and Germany, as well as Japan, were also among the countries that opposed the measure.

The U.N. committee adopted a separate resolution promoted by Japan calling for gradual cuts in the global stockpile of nuclear weapons. The United States supported this resolution.

Explaining Tokyo’s vote, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said starting negotiations on a nuclear ban treaty is inconsistent with Japan’s basic approach to nuclear disarmament.

Many Japanese government policymakers believe the protection of the deterrent effect of the U.S. nuclear arsenal is essential for Japan’s own national security at a time when the security environment in East Asia is deteriorating due partly to North Korea’s continued development of nuclear arms and missiles.

But the proponents of a ban treaty are not calling for an immediate end to dependence on the extended U.S. nuclear deterrence. These non-nuclear states are only advocating the beginning of talks on such a treaty.

How to pursue both nuclear arms reductions and national security is a challenge the world should tackle through international negotiations.

The nuclear powers are acting too inflexibly by opposing even the establishment of a conference for such negotiations.

Japan and other U.S. allies that have followed Washington’s lead will face some serious questions about their independence.

The resolution is now set to be adopted in a U.N. General Assembly session by the end of this year. The first round of negotiations on a nuclear ban treaty is expected to be held in March next year.

The United States and other nuclear powers have indicated they will boycott the talks. But Kishida has said Japan will be at the negotiating table.

The rift between nuclear and non-nuclear states is deeper than ever before.

Japan should now try to play an active role in the efforts to narrow the gap between the positions of both camps by persuading the nuclear powers to join the negotiations.

That’s the way for Japan to maintain the credibility of its commitment to the elimination of nuclear arms as the nation that was once devastated by atomic bombs.

October 29, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Survivors of A-bomb protest Japan opposing nuke ban treaty


Representatives of groups of atomic bomb survivors protest the Japanese government’s opposition to the U.N. resolution to convene negotiations on a treaty banning nuclear arsenals at a news conference in Nagasaki on Oct. 28.

Atomic bomb survivors lashed out at their government for siding with the United States and opposing the start of talks to outlaw nuclear weapons, despite Japan being the only nation to be victimized by nuclear bombs.

Japan ended up going along with the United States, which flexes its muscles with nuclear weapons,” said Toshiki Fujimori, an atomic bomb survivor of Hiroshima and a senior official at the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations, known as Hidankyo.

Hidankyo immediately lodged a protest with the government on Oct. 28, sending a letter that said Japan’s opposition to the start of treaty talks “trampled on the wishes of hibakusha.”

The U.N. General Assembly First Committee on Disarmament and International Security adopted a resolution on Oct. 27 to start negotiations in 2017 on a “legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading toward their total elimination.”

Japan was among 38 countries that voted against it, along with the United States and other nuclear powers.

Fujimori, 72, said Japan’s stance reminded him of the stinging criticism hurled at him when he visited the committee in New York early this month to press for the urgency of such a treaty.

An ambassador of a non-nuclear power nation spearheading anti-nuclear arsenals efforts suggested Japanese should lobby their own government first if they were so keen to see the treaty take shape.

The ambassador was criticizing that Japan, relying on the U.S. nuclear deterrence, was reluctant to support negotiations on the treaty from the outset.

Fujimori also said he disagreed with what a Japanese foreign ministry official said at a symposium on nuclear disarmament in September.

The diplomat described U.S. President Barack Obama’s historic visit to Hiroshima in May as an attempt to bridge the divide between nuclear and non-nuclear powers.

But Fujimori noted that Obama expressed no apology for the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the address delivered in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. In addition, the president avoided a direct reference to the bombing, saying, “Death fell from the sky and the world was changed.”

And five months later, Japan, together with the United States, voted against the U.N. resolution.

The Japanese government is supposed to lead global calls for abolishing nuclear weapons, but it only appears to be a spokesman of Washington,” Fujimori said. “It should speak up by siding with hibakusha, not with the United States.”

Sunao Tsuboi, 91, co-chairperson of Hidankyo, also expressed dismay, calling Tokyo’s position “deplorable.”

Tsuboi shook hands with Obama when he visited Hiroshima, the first sitting U.S. president to do so.

But Washington pressured Japan, an ally, and other allied nations, to vote against the U.N. resolution when the step toward a nuclear ban was under discussion.

It is sad for humans,” Tsuboi said of the opposition by Japan and other countries. “Countries should be united, seeing the issue of nuclear weapons from a humanitarian perspective.”

Toyokazu Ihara, 80, who gave a peace pledge at the annual peace ceremony in Nagasaki on Aug. 9, said he “was appalled” by Japan’s vote against it.

He said he urged Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to “act in a way only Japan can do” when they met after the ceremony.

I am sorry that our voices were not reflected,” he said. “A global trend toward prohibiting nuclear weapons will not stop. Japan may find itself isolated in the world.”

Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue said while he welcomed the U.N. resolution as a “landmark step” to pave the way for nations to forge a legally binding path to outlaw nuclear weapons, he “was extremely disappointed” by the Japanese government’s opposition to it.

Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui echoed a similar sentiment.

Matsui said he sent a letter to Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, a lawmaker from a constituency in Hiroshima, in which he criticized the government’s position as “extremely regrettable.”

October 29, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

UN Oks Nuclear Arms Ban Resolution, Japan in Complete Denial of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Bombings Opposed it

Finally, 71 years after the dropping of atomic bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the international community is ready to start negotiations on a new treaty banning nuclear weapons. Although this is a historical moment, it was very sad that Japan and the US opposed the UN resolution.

UN committee OKs nuclear arms ban resolution

A UN General Assembly committee has approved a resolution calling for a treaty to ban nuclear weapons.
Japan, the only country that has suffered atomic bombings, was among the countries that opposed it, along with nuclear powers including the United States.
The resolution was adopted on Thursday by a majority vote at the General Assembly’s First Committee on Disarmament.
The resolution submitted by about 50 non-nuclear weapons states calls for starting negotiations on a legally binding treaty in New York in March.
123 countries voted in favor, while 38 voted against. 16 countries abstained.
Among the nuclear powers, the United States and Russia opposed it. China and India abstained.
Japan voted against it. The country has been calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons, while under the US nuclear umbrella. But it said disarmament should be done in stages with the cooperation of nuclear and non-nuclear states.
Austrian disarmament ambassador Franz Josef Kuglitsch called the resolution the fruit of years of huge effort and conscience-building by many countries and civil society. Austria is one of the proponents of the resolution.
If adopted at a General Assembly session in December, treaty negotiations will start in March.

U.S., Japan oppose and China abstains as U.N. votes to launch talks on nuclear arms ban

UNITED NATIONS – A U.N. General Assembly committee on Thursday voted to launch negotiations on a new treaty banning nuclear weapons despite fierce opposition from the world’s nuclear powers.

A resolution presented by Austria, Ireland, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa and Brazil was adopted by a vote of 123 to 38, with 16 abstentions, following weeks of lobbying by the nuclear powers for “no” votes.

The nonbinding resolution provides for negotiations to begin in March on the new treaty, citing deep concern over the “catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons.”

Four of the five U.N. Security Council nuclear powers — Britain, France, Russia and the United States — voted against the resolution, while China abstained, as did India and Pakistan.

Japan, which has long campaigned against the use of nuclear weapons, voted against it, as did South Korea, which is facing a nuclear threat from North Korea.

Opponents argued that nuclear disarmament should be addressed within negotiations on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, described the vote as a “historic moment” in the decades-long drive for a nuclear-free world.

This treaty won’t eliminate nuclear weapons overnight. But it will establish a powerful, new international legal standard, stigmatizing nuclear weapons and compelling nations to take urgent action on disarmament.”

The measure is expected to go to the full General Assembly for a vote in late November or early December.

Although Japan voted against the resolution due to pressure exerted by the U.S., Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said Friday that Japan intends to join U.N. negotiations to outlaw nuclear weapons.

At present, I hope to proactively join in the negotiations and firmly present our stance,” which stresses cooperation between nuclear and nonnuclear powers, Kishida told reporters, adding that the government as a whole will make the final decision.

Kishida said Japan opposed the draft resolution as it did not match the country’s stance to pursue a world free of nuclear weapons by “concrete and pragmatic measures” amid the growing threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear and missile development and the need for nuclear deterrence.

The resolution further deepens the rift and encourages opposition” between countries possessing nuclear weapons and those that do not, Kishida said.

Japan also took note of the votes by other key countries in making the decision, Kishida said. All of the countries possessing nuclear weapons, including the United States, opposed the draft resolution, while North Korea voted in favor.

The resolution calls for talks to be held twice next year — the first round from March 27 to 31 and the second from June 15 through July 7 in New York — to negotiate a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons.

Despite the U.S. and other nuclear powers’ objection to the motion, Robert Zuber, director of Global Action to Prevent War, a nongovernmental organization, is upbeat about its prospects.

We believe that a ban treaty could help contribute to a robust international framework to which the nuclear weapon states could eventually accede,” he said.

But the decision by Japan, the only country to have ever suffered a nuclear attack, to vote against the draft disappointed some anti-nuclear campaigners.

The government is “still captured by a very old-fashioned idea on security. They still believe nuclear weapons are necessary for their own security. However, it is already clear that it is nuclear weapons that are posing a threat to global security and survival of human kind, as testified by many survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” said Akira Kawasaki, director of Peace Boat Hibakusha Project.

UN votes to start negotiating treaty to ban nuclear weapons

Australia votes with major nuclear powers against the resolution – including US, Russia and Israel – but 123 nations vote in favour

United Nations member states have voted overwhelmingly to start negotiations on a treaty to ban nuclear weapons, despite strong opposition from nuclear-armed nations and their allies.

In the vote in the UN disarmament and international security committee on Thursday, 123 nations were in favour of the resolution, 38 opposed and 16 abstained.

Nuclear powers the United States, Russia, Israel, France and the United Kingdom were among those that opposed the measure.

Australia, as forecast last week, and as a long-time dependant on the US’s extended nuclear deterrence, also voted no.

The resolution now goes to a full general assembly vote some time in December.

The resolution aims to hold a conference in March 2017 to negotiate a “legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”.

Support for a ban treaty has been growing steadily over months of negotiations, but it has no support from the nine known nuclear states – the US, China, France, Britain, Russia, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea – which includes the veto-wielding permanent five members of the security council.

But Australia has been the most outspoken of the non-nuclear states.

During months of negotiations, Australia has lobbied other countries, pressing the case for what it describes as a “building blocks” approach of engaging with nuclear powers to reduce the global stockpile of 15,000 weapons.

Australia has consistently maintained that as long as nuclear weapons exist, it must rely on the protection of the deterrent effect of the US’s nuclear arsenal, the second largest in the world.

When he appeared before Senate estimates last week, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s assistant secretary, Richard Sadleir, forecast Australia’s rejection of the vote: “Consistent with the position to that we took to the open-ended working group (into nuclear disarmament) report, we will be voting no with respect to that resolution.”

Sadleir said Australia’s position on nuclear disarmament was “consistent and clear”.

We do not support a ban treaty,” he said. “A ban treaty that does not include the nuclear weapons states, those states which possess nuclear weapons, and is disconnected from the rest of the security environment, would be counterproductive and not lead to reductions in nuclear arsenals.”

Professor Tilman Ruff, founding chair of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons and co-president of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, said the vote was a “historic step” for the world that “heralds an end to two decades of paralysis in multilateral nuclear disarmament”.

The numbers are especially encouraging given the ferocious pressure on countries to vote no by the nuclear-armed states, who see that this will fundamentally challenge their continued possession of nuclear weapons,” he said.

The treaty will fill the legal gap by which the most destructive of all weapons – nuclear weapons – are the only weapon of mass destruction to not yet be outlawed by international treaty.”

Ruff said Australia should reverse its opposition “and get on the right side of humanity”.

Australia is doing dirty work for Washington, and is willing for US nuclear weapons to be used on its behalf, and potentially with its assistance,” he said.

It is inconceivable that Australia would not eventually sign up to a treaty prohibiting the last to be banned and worst [weapons of mass destruction]. We’ve signed every other treaty banning an unacceptable weapon, and on some, like chemical weapons, we were a leader.”

Ruff said that given there were no nuclear disarmament negotiations under way or planned, a ban treaty was the only feasible path towards ridding the world of nuclear weapons available now.

The efficacy of a ban treaty is a matter of fierce debate.

Without the participation of the states that actually possess nuclear weapons, critics argue it cannot succeed. But proponents say a nuclear weapons ban will create moral suasion – in the vein of the cluster and landmine conventions – for nuclear weapons states to disarm, and establish an international norm prohibiting nuclear weapons’ development, possession and use.

Non-nuclear states have expressed increasing frustration with the current nuclear regime and the sclerotic movement towards disarmament.

With nuclear weapons states modernising and in some cases increasing their arsenals, instead of discarding them, more states are becoming disenchanted with the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and lending their support for an outright ban.


October 29, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , , , | Leave a comment

Japan won’t support U.N. resolution urging nuclear weapons ban


Hiroshima bombing

TOKYO — Japan has decided not to support a draft U.N. resolution urging the start of negotiations in 2017 to outlaw nuclear weapons, a senior Japanese official and other sources close to the matter said.

Japan, the world’s sole victim of atomic bombings, will consider either abstaining or voting against the draft at the General Assembly this week because it would only “further deepen the rift between nuclear and non-nuclear states and meaningful treaty negotiations cannot be expected,” the senior official said.

Although the draft is likely to be adopted by a majority vote, the United States and other states possessing nuclear weapons are expected to boycott the negotiations.

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and other senior members of the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are expected to make a final decision soon on Japan’s position, the sources said.

The draft, submitted by Austria and others to the First Committee on disarmament and security issues at the General Assembly on Oct. 13, sets out to establish a mandate on a “legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination.”

The United States has been urging Japan to oppose the draft, the sources said. It remains to be seen whether Japan, which comes under the U.S. nuclear umbrella, will decide to join the talks to ban nuclear weapons expected to start in March next year.

The draft resolution had drawn support from nearly 50 countries in Southeast Asia, Africa, Latin America and other regions by the end of last week. The submitting countries have stressed the humanitarian impact of the use of nuclear weapons.

The Japanese Foreign Ministry is unsupportive of the resolution, questioning its effectiveness with nuclear powers reluctant to join the treaty negotiations. The ministry also believes the draft does not take into consideration security aspects such as the impact of the loss of nuclear deterrence, the sources added.

But such a stance by the Japanese government could trigger opposition at home and disappoint states supportive of the resolution.


Hiroshima bombed

October 27, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment