A new exhibit at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum will display replicas of the medal and the diploma of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize until August 6th – The day of the commemoration of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and the 140,000 lives that were lost as a consequence of the bombs long-lasting effects. After Hiroshima, the medal will go to the Nagasaki Peace Memorial -from August 8 to August 24- for the commemoration on August 9th –
“We hope [the medal] will inspire everyone who visits this museum to work for nuclear disarmament.” Tim Wright, ICAN’s Treaty Coordinator said as he attended the opening of the exhibit ” We want everyone who visits to go home and work to get their country to sign and ratify this important new agreement.”
Wright is in Japan to gather attention and support for the Nuclear Ban Treaty. In Hiroshima, he met with the Mayor and the governor of the Prefecture as well as with Hibakusha, survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to hear their stories and messages for the Japanese government.
Japan, which is the only nation ever to be attacked with nuclear weapons, did not formally participate in the negotiation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It attended the first day of negotiations, but only to declare that it would be unable to negotiate constructively and in good faith. It voted against the UN General Assembly resolution in 2016 that established the mandate for nations to negotiate the treaty. It claims that US nuclear weapons are essential for its security.
At a symposium organised by the Hiroshima Peace Institute, RECNA and the Chugoku Shimbun, Wright called out this opposition to the Nuclear Ban Treaty by the Japanese government’s as a “betrayal of the survivors of the atomic bombings, who for decades have warned of the horrors of nuclear war and appealed for disarmament. This government has ignored their pleas. It has discounted their suffering.” He went on to reject the Japanese governments attempts to position Japan as a bridge-builder between nuclear and non-nuclear states. “By rejecting the ban treaty, it has sided with the small group of nations that recklessly wield these awful weapons. It has revealed itself as a significant part of the problem that we face as a global community. Japan has signed and ratified the treaties prohibiting biological weapons, chemical weapons, anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions. It should not hesitate in doing the same for the new treaty outlawing nuclear weapons.” Wright was able to voice these concerns directly to the Japanese Government during a meeting with State Minister Sato at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Met with State Minister Sato at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and discussed #nuclearban treaty. 佐藤外務副大臣にお会いして #核兵器禁止条約 について議論しました #YesICAN @TimMilesWright pic.twitter.com/1nUX5B2tGw — Akira Kawasaki (@kawasaki_akira) July 24, 2018
Wright also met with a large delegation of ambassadors and representatives from all over the world to brief them on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. 50 countries must join the treaty for it to enter into force, and so far, there has been a steady stream of countries doing so: 59 countries from all over the world have already signed the treaty, and 12 have ratified it. We are well on our way.
“Naysayers told us that we would never succeed in securing a mandate from the UN General Assembly to negotiate this treaty. But we did. Then they told us that the negotiating conference would not result in a treaty being adopted. But it did. Now they tell us that the treaty will not enter into force. But it certainly will. And they tell us that Japan will never join. Again, we will prove them wrong. And we will continue proving them wrong until every last nuclear weapon is dismantled.”