UN Adopted a Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons
Shinfujin President Delivered a Statement at the UN Conference
On June 15, the Second Session of the UN Conference to negotiate a treaty to ban nuclear weapons opened. Shinfujin President KASAI Kimiyo delivered a statement conveying the voices and movement of women and citizens of the Atomic bombed country. She also expressed their resolve to urge the Japanese government, who was absent from the Conference, to participate in the negotiations and become party to the treaty. Here are the texts of the speeches President Kasai made at the UN and the Women’s March to Ban the Bomb.
United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading towards Their Total Elimination
President of the New Japan Women’s Association
Executive Director of the Japan Council against Atomic & Hydrogen Bombs
I speak on behalf of the New Japan Women’s Association, an NGO of women working together to protect children against nuclear war for 55 years. I also represent the Japan Council against Atomic & Hydrogen Bombs.
The Government of Japan is not present here but an overwhelming majority of Japanese women and people stand with you hoping to see this Conference take a historic step forward by adopting the convention to prohibit nuclear weapons. I warmly support your effort. The signature campaign initiated by the Hibakusha has gathered support from 2.96 million people so far in Japan. Many people are marching now in “Orizuru (Paper Crane) Parade” in many cities in Japan to show solidarity with you all.
I welcome that the draft Convention totally prohibits nuclear weapons on the ground of their humanitarian consequences, explicitly refers to the role of the Hibakusha and civil society, and includes gender perspectives.
Heightening international tensions are the reason why we must hurry to eliminate nuclear weapons. They should not be used as a pretext to oppose to it. We call on nuclear weapons states to fulfill their promise to eliminate their nuclear arsenals. We particularly urge the Government of Japan, as the only nation that suffered the atomic bombings, to play an active role by supporting, signing, and ratifying the convention. We women and civil society of Japan are resolved to strengthen our efforts to achieve a world without nuclear weapons.
Speech at the Women’s March and Rally to Ban the Bomb
Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, New York
President, New Japan Women’s Association
Dear sisters and friends,
I am KASAI Kimiyo, president of the New Japan Women’s Association (Shinfujin) standing before you with my association delegates. From women of the atomic bombed nation of Japan, we extend the warmest greetings of solidarity to you all.
Today, in various parts of Japan, people are marching in Orizuru parades in solidarity with the Women’s March to Ban the Bomb. Orizuru is a paper crane, a symbol of the elimination of nuclear weapons. We are wearing red to express our anger against the Japanese Government under Prime Minister Abe, who is absent at the UN Conference to adopt a historic convention for prohibiting nuclear weapons. Red is a penalty card calling the Abe Government to resign.
Women of Japan have long been campaigning so that there should never be another Hiroshima and Nagasaki anywhere on this planet. Our members are actively involved in the Hibakusha International Signature Campaign, broadening support on the grassroots level. We are thrilled to see our long years’ effort is bearing a fruit as the ban convention.
We all have a great opportunity before us to march forward to make sure the ban on nuclear weapons leads to their elimination. We can achieve a peaceful and just world where tax money is used for livelihood, social welfare and education instead of military spending. Like the anti-Trump movement developing in the US, a new era is beginning in Japan. United citizens and opposition parties are standing against the Abe Government. Every week, people organize demonstration around the Diet building, saying, “No Nuclear Power!” “No War” “Abe Resign!” Two days ago, ruling parties forcibly enacted the conspiracy law. A storm of protests is spreading out now. Together, we will prevail.
This post is also available in: Japanese