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Kishida to push for "a world free of nuclear arms"

Kishida to urge world to give up nuclear weapons at G-7 meeting

March 31, 2016




Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said he will press the Group of Seven meeting he will chair next month to adopt a “Hiroshima Declaration” pledging to get rid the world of nuclear weapons.

Kishida announced his plan March 30 in an interview ahead of the G-7 foreign ministers' meeting to be held in Hiroshima for the first time.

Kishida, a lawmaker who represents a Hiroshima Prefecture electoral district, believes the meeting's location carries great significance as it was the first of only two cities to be devastated by U.S. atomic bombing in 1945.

The United States, Britain and France, all nuclear powers, will be represented at the April 10-11 meeting.

Global interest in achieving a nuclear-free world took off after U.S. President Barack Obama made the proposal in Prague in 2009. But the momentum “has currently withered,” Kishida said.

Referring to North Korea's repeated nuclear weapons tests and launches of ballistic missiles, he said: “They are a challenge to the nonproliferation regime.”

“It’s exactly because we are in such times that we want to emit a clear and powerful message from a city once struck by the atomic bomb to restart disarmament and nonproliferation efforts,” Kishida said.

Activist groups comprising those affected by the atomic bombing of the city are currently urging the G-7 foreign ministers to visit the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims and the Peace Memorial Park, site of the Hiroshima museum.

Kishida only said talks are still under way with the three nuclear powers with regard to this issue.

“(Their visits) will be highly significant in boosting the movement to push for a world free of nuclear arms,” Kishida said.

(This article was written by Hajimu Takeda and Ryutaro Abe.)



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