It gives me great pleasure to honor JALANA on its 25th birthday. It has been my privilege to work with the Japanese chapter of IALANA for this entire period and to come to know some of its staff, not only as fellow fighters for a nuclear weapons free world, but also as dear friends, such as Professor Kenji Urata.
I am not a statistician, but I believe I am correct in saying that JALANA has always had the most members of any chapter of IALANA, which is understandable when one considers that Japan has been the victim of the greatest war crime in the history of the world, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As a holocaust survivor myself, I have always admired the assistance given to Hibakusha by JALANA, because it seemed to me that their joint activities were undertaken in a selfless spirit benefiting others.
One reason it is such a pleasure to work with JALANA is that it both gives and takes. It gives analyses of developments concerning nuclear weapons, making them available to the entire IALANA community. And, reciprocally, JALANA receives statements and analyses from John Burroughs and others and uses them in its own work in Japan. Much of this takes place at the periodic IALANA conferences all over the world, which are always well attended by men and women representatives of JALANA (I am making a special point of the gender aspect of JALANA’s delegations to these meetings, because gender diversity has been a characteristic of JALANA from the very beginning).
What I have admired most about JALANA is its steadfast devotion to the principle of a nuclear weapons free world. Some other organizations which start out embracing that principle eventually get diverted into “if we can’t have abolition, let us at least have risk reduction”. Others would have us believe that restricting the use of nuclear weapons to situations of “extreme emergency” can avoid a nuclear war. Still others think that our goal should be “strategic stability”, which is just another phrase for MAD, Mutual Assured Destruction.
I am grateful that none of these alternatives to complete abolition have any attraction for JALANA. In short, my friends, I am grateful for what JALANA has accomplished in its first 25 years, and what it will accomplish hopefully in less than that number: a nuclear weapons free world.
I am about to be only 94 years old and I want to see it done in my lifetime!
September 20, 2019