We Protest against G7 leaders for turning their backs on the call of the Hibakusha and the People
Seeking the Prohibition and Abolition of Nuclear Weapons
May 21, 2023
Yasui Masakazu, Secretary General
Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs (Gensuikyo)
1. The G7 Summit Meeting of major economies, held from May 19 to 21 in the A-bombed city Hiroshima, ended, issuing a joint statement. During the Summit, the G7 leaders had an opportunity to visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and meet with the Hibakusha. However, far from “send(ing) out a strong message to realize a world free of nuclear weapons” from the A-bombed city, as repeated by Prime Minister Kishida, no new initiatives or proposals were made, betraying the expectations of the Hibakusha and the people. On the contrary, the Summit declared its open affirmation of the “nuclear deterrence” theory, which is very deplorable.
2. The “Hiroshima Vision on Nuclear Disarmament”, released by the G7 Summit on May 19, reaffirmed the P5 statement of January last year that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought”, but made no reference to the complete elimination of nuclear weapons, the only guarantee to prevent nuclear war. Instead, the G7 summit has set a world without nuclear weapons as the “ultimate goal”, deferring it to an indefinite future, and even boasted the possibility of using these weapons, saying, “nuclear weapons, … should serve defensive purposes”. It is extremely serious that the G7 summit has declared the abolition of nuclear weapons as the ultimate task and affirmed the “nuclear deterrence” theory.
The attitude of the G7 leaders, who gathered in Hiroshima but did not seriously face the inhumanity of nuclear weapons or even consider the final document of last year’s NPT Review Conference, must be severely criticized.
3. On the occasion of the summit, Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs (Gensuikyo) has urged the G7 leaders to break away from the “nuclear deterrence” theory, which is based on the assumption that nuclear weapons would cause inhumane consequences like in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and to strive for the prohibition and abolition of nuclear weapons. Discussions on the maintenance of nuclear deterrence and the strengthening of its regime must not be allowed to take place in the A-bombed city of Hiroshima. For this reason, we called for sincere discussion to implement all the past agreements of the NPT Review Conferences, including the “accomplishment of the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals” (2000), the efforts to achieve “the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons” and to establish a “framework” for that purpose (2010), which have been accepted by the Summit participants, and addressed the request to the government of Japan, as the chair of the G7 Summit. These are strong demands of the people of the A-bombed country, as supported by 180 heads of local governments and 140 chairpersons of local assemblies, representing more than 10% of the total number of local municipalities in Japan.
However, all these demands were ignored. As a movement of the A-bombed nation, we strongly protest against this.
4. The summit also exposed the lack of substance of the “Hiroshima Action Plan” proposed by Prime Minister Kishida. For a commitment to the ultimate goal of a world without nuclear weapons, the Hiroshima Action Plan was valued as a “welcome contribution (‘Hiroshima Vision’)” by the G7 leaders. But it is nothing more than a deceptive vision to cover the gap between pursuing a “world without nuclear weapons” while relying on the US “nuclear umbrella”, i.e., nuclear weapons, for its own security.
5. As the G20 President and disarmament representative of the Non-Aligned Movement, President Joko of Indonesia was the only person in the meeting that called for the abolition of nuclear weapons as the mission of the Summit held in Hiroshima. In the 21st century, the nuclear powers are no longer leading the trend towards a world free of nuclear weapons, for they rely only on their nuclear weapons as “deterrence”. We will redouble our efforts to strengthen public opinion for a total ban and elimination of nuclear weapons, so that Japan, the only country to have suffered nuclear attack, will join and lead the trend.