On 10 October, H.E. Mr. Ion Jinga, Chair of the First Committee of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, and Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, met with Mr. Sueichi Kido, Secretary-General of Nihon Hidankyo (Japan Confederation of A-and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations), and Mr. Jiro Hamasumi, Assistant Secretary General of Nihon Hidankyo, to receive a symbolic representation of 8,300,403 signatures in support of the “Appeal of the Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors).” Nihon Hidankyo (the Japan Confederation of A and H Bomb Suffers Organizations) is the only nationwide Japanese independent organization of hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that consists of hibakusha organizations in all 47 prefectures of Japan.
Mr. Kido stated how encouraged he was by the 2017 adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons at the United Nations. He also offered his appreciation for the Agenda for Disarmament initiated by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, adding that the “Appeal of the Hibakusha greatly resonates with the idea of strengthening partnerships for disarmament, and we would like to continue to work with the UN to achieve a peaceful world without nuclear weapons.”
H.E. Mr. Ion Jinga offered sincere thanks to the concerned citizens who collected signatures and to the hibakusha for their activities to prevent the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki from reoccurring.
About the “Appeal of the Hibakusha”
Since April 2016, Nihon Hidankyo, with many civil society groups, has collected signatures for the “Appeal of the Hibakusha” calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons. They have submitted the collected signatures on the occasions of the 71st and 72nd First Committee sessions and, in 2017, during the June-July session of the UN conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination.
Text and photos by Tomoko Hiramoto