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Hibakusha submits 10 m. signatures for nuke abolition to U.N.

  • October 12, 2019
  • , Jiji Press , 2:52 p.m.
  • English Press

New York, Oct. 11 (Jiji Press)–A Japanese hibakusha atomic bomb survivor submitted to the United Nations on Friday a list of some 10 million signatures in an appeal supporting the abolition of nuclear weapons.

The list of 10,517,872 signatures, collected as of the end of September, was submitted by Toshiki Fujimori, assistant secretary-general of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations, or Nihon Hidankyo, to U.N. General Assembly First Committee Chairman Sacha Sergio Llorenty Soliz and U.N. Undersecretary-General Izumi Nakamitsu, also U.N. high representative for disarmament affairs, in their meeting held at the U.N. headquarters in New York.

The First Committee is in charge of disarmament and international security.

The Hibakusha Appeal international signature campaign seeking nuclear abolition was launched in 2016 mainly by hibakusha, submitting a list of signatures to the United Nations every year. Japan is the only nation attacked with nuclear weapons, with the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki devastated by the U.S. atomic bombings in August 1945, in the closing days of World War II.

At the meeting, Fujimori, 75, said: “We have finally collected over 10 million signatures. We’ll keep this momentum and step up efforts to gather more and more signatures next year.”

He also expressed hope that a U.N. treaty to ban nuclear weapons, adopted in 2017, will be put into force as early as possible.

In response, Llorenty, Bolivia’s ambassador to the United Nations, said he has met with hibakusha during a visit to Hiroshima and realized that the real damage of the nuclear weapons on humanity was “beyond the history books.”

“What you are doing…reminds humanity that there is a silent threat and we all should work not just to mitigate, not just to control but also to eliminate all nuclear weapons,” he told Fujimori.

Nakamitsu said that “we are encouraged” by the submissions of signatures from the campaign every year.

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