Truly, we live in tempestuous times. Through its long history, humanity has been through such times repeatedly, but our current turbulence is like none we have ever experienced. What is different is that these stormy seas could very well sink the ship of humanity. This difference arose with the advent of nuclear energy, a product of highly developed human intelligence. Foolish humans, who were chosen for being superior, employed this energy for the development and use of nuclear weapons, which slaughter multitudes along with entire cities, instead of thinking of ways to use it for improving human livelihood. There is not the slightest commitment to protecting the sanctity of life of living humans, only an anti-human ideology which endorses the mass extermination of a city's population like a pile of objects.
If this anti-human ideology spreads to the whole world and becomes the common perception, it is obvious to anyone that humanity will become extinct in the not-too-distant future.
Our era, this period of human history, is in this sense a turbulent age of crisis.
The reality is that when a person dies, that person's death is lamented, mourned, and grieved by his or her mother, who gave birth, father, siblings, lover, spouse, and close friends. Such is human nature. In a nuclear war, a person presses a launch button on the device in front of him with his fingertip and, without seeing the people who will be killed, massacres several hundred thousand people living in a city far away. They are killed instantly, cruelly, and massively, along with their city. Atomic bombs allow no mourning for the slaughtered, no description of the damage.
What rationale is used by the leaders of nuclear powers to justify the manufacture, use, and threat of nuclear weapons?
That of the US is that nuclear weapons are legal because there is no convention that bans them. But if suggests concluding a convention to ban nuclear weapons, the reaction is a self-centered refusal.
To deal with this self-centered attitude of the nuclear powers, the overwhelming majority of the world's countries have on numerous occasions passed resolutions in the UN General Assembly saying that nuclear weapons are a crime against humanity. Unfortunately, however, UNGA resolutions are not legally binding to the nuclear powers, which for that reason depend on their vested interests in the unequal NPT and, with no justifiable or sensible reason, make no move to consent to signing a nuclear weapons treatyconvention.
The fundamental principle for changing this self-centeredness of the nuclear powers is to communicate widely, based on facts, the reality of the nuclear hell which showed us the end of the world, and the unhealable wounds of survivors, in both body and spirit, caused by the radiation. Our task is, through these activities, to widely shape public opinion, surround and isolate the nuclear powers, and then after we have cornered them into agreeing to abolishing nuclear weapons, make the agreement legally binding by signing a convention.
Against this global historical background, we lawyers have made a variety of creative preparations for the NPT RevCon as participants from Japan who have experienced the tragedy of nuclear weapons.
The core of our citizen delegation is of course hibakusha, and the goal of their action is achieving the abolition of nuclear weapons. Participants from Japan carry out all their various activities with this goal and the focus.
It is anticipated that the US, a nuclear power, and its client states will hold fast to "nuclear disarmament and nuclear nonproliferation", and use every cunning means at their disposal. We must also be on the alert against the deceptiveness of the ICNND report, which is filled with embellishments.
An advantageous aspect of the situation is that because the nuclear superpower America has deployed large-scale military force which assumes the predominance of its global strategy since the fall of the Soviet Union, it has lost the world community's trust, it has become isolated, and its socioeconomic system has started crumbling. In a bid to recover world trust, President Obama made a speech in Prague saying the US is working toward a "world without nuclear weapons." But a counterattack from the military-industrial complex with cause for concern.
A disadvantageous aspect of the situation is the existence of the massive military-industrial complex comprising the nuclear weapons/defense industry and the military command. Another is that the government of the atomic-bombed country Japan firmly upholds a policy dependent on US nuclear deterrence (which sanctions the first use of nuclear weapons). This policy functions to encourage the US camp advocating nuclear weapons possession. In other words, we have an unbelievable and unhappy situation in which the government of the atomic-bombed country Japan plays a role that hinders the realization of a "world without nuclear weapons."
If the campaign for nuclear weapons abolition centered around hibakusha in Japan is successful in making the Japanese government withdraw its policy of dependence on US nuclear deterrence and bringing about the legislation of the three non-nuclear principles, then US nuclear weapons would be unnecessary, Japan could move toward the Northeast Asia Peace Community, and great progress would be made toward achieving a "world without nuclear weapons."
It is under these circumstances that many Japanese citizens, with a core of hibakusha and also including lawyers, will unite and go to the US to attend the NPT RevCon with the goal of creating a "world without nuclear weapons."
The work of our lawyers' delegation, as lawyers from the atomic-bombed country Japan, will be to use various opportunities to take actions grounded in the shared standards of communicating the reality of damage by the atomic bombings, arguing that the use and threat of nuclear weapons are illegal, demanding the conclusion of a nuclear weapons convention, and promoting the non-military philosophy of the Japanese Constitution.
In particular, there are expectations that hibakusha and lawyers will in their respective spheres of action do their very best to monitor the Japanese government so that its actions are not confined to nuclear disarmament and nuclear nonproliferation, and to steer nuclear powers toward immediately entering into talks for concluding a nuclear weapons convention.
Our contribution shall be, through the activities of the Japanese delegation, to bring about agreement at the NPT RevCon to immediately start talks on concluding a nuclear weapons convention.
No more hibakusha! No more Hiroshima! No more Nagasaki!