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Hiroshima mayor, UN and nuclear disarmament

November 24, 2016

Hiroshima mayor, Kishida on nuclear weapons ban


The mayor of the atomic-bombed city of Hiroshima has urged the Japanese government to take a leadership role in discussions on a UN treaty to ban nuclear weapons.

A UN General Assembly committee in October approved a resolution calling for talks on a legally binding treaty. Japan voted against the resolution.

Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui handed a letter of appeal to Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday. Matsui also heads the Mayors for Peace, an international organization of cities working to abolish nuclear weapons.

Matsui said it was extremely regrettable that Japan opposed the talks. He said it runs counter to the earnest wishes of the atomic bomb survivors.

Kishida said an agreement between nuclear and non-nuclear weapons states is essential for the abolition of atomic arms.

He said Japan has been consistent in its position to serve as a bridge between the two sides.

Kishida said Japan will take part in treaty negotiations expected to start in March and continue to seek a world free of nuclear weapons.

The Hiroshima mayor spoke to reporters after the meeting. He said that Japan is the home of the only atomic-bombed cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He said for that reason Japan is in a unique position to push for a nuclear-free world.

He said he wants the Japanese government to firmly resolve to guide the different interests through this difficult situation.


November 23, 2016

Ban wants divide over nuclear disarmament narrowed



UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has underscored the need for dialogue to narrow the gap between nuclear and non-nuclear nations over disarmament.

Ban delivered a lecture on the outlook for nuclear disarmament in New York on Tuesday.

Last month, a UN General Assembly committee approved a resolution calling for negotiations to start in March on the establishment of a legally binding nuclear weapons ban treaty. It was adopted by a majority vote, over the opposition of nuclear powers, including the United States.

Ban expressed concern about the deep differences over how to proceed with disarmament.

He stressed that countries should work to narrow those differences and find common ground.

Ban also voiced hope that the next US administration will stick to a deal reached by Iran and 6 world powers last year.

The 2 sides agreed Tehran would curb its nuclear development in return for the lifting of economic sanctions. US President-elect Donald Trump opposes the accord.

Ban ends his second 5-year term as UN chief at the end of December.



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