GENEVA–Despite being the only nation to have suffered atomic bombing, Japan has again refused to sign a document that describes nuclear weapons as inhumane.
The document is a joint statement that was presented April 24 at the second session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons being held in Geneva.
Japanese officials said the document’s wording made it difficult to approve it because it would contradict Japan’s policy of reliance on the U.S. nuclear umbrella for national security purposes.
The joint statement expresses deep concerns for the devastation that would result if nuclear weapons were used and states that “the only way to guarantee that nuclear weapons will never be used again is through their total elimination.”
About 70 nations, including South Africa and Switzerland, have signed on to the document.
A similar joint document was presented by 16 nations at the first session held last May. At that time, Japan decided not to join because officials were not approached beforehand.
On April 22, Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue and Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui visited Japan’s permanent mission to the Conference on Disarmament and asked Ambassador Mari Amano to concur with the wording in the latest document.