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Lawmakers call on Japan to attend nuke ban treaty meeting as observer

Hiroshima, Aug. 5 (Jiji Press)–Japanese ruling and opposition lawmakers agreed Thursday that the country should attend at least as an observer the first meeting of parties to the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, slated to be held in Vienna in January 2022.

 

The view was shared at a symposium held in Hiroshima on the eve of the 76th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the western Japan city.

 

“For the time being, Japan should proactively contribute as an observer, in order to create a security environment that allows it to ratify the treaty,” which entered into force in January this year, Natsuo Yamaguchi, head of Komeito, the ruling coalition partner of the Liberal Democratic Party, said.

 

“As the only country that has suffered nuclear attacks, I want (Japan) to actively tell the reality of having been atomic-bombed,” LDP lawmaker Minoru Terada, former state minister for internal affairs and communications, said.

 

Yukio Edano, leader of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, said informing the world of Japan’s painful experience will be the first step for the country to serve as bridge between countries with and without nuclear weapons.

 

Democratic Party for the People leader Yuichiro Tamaki and Muneo Suzuki of Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party) also called on the Japanese government to attend the forthcoming meeting of parties to the treaty as an observer.

 

Meanwhile, Japanese Communist Party chief Kazuo Shii demanded that the country sign and ratify the treaty promptly. He claimed that it is necessary to “leave behind the theory of nuclear deterrence.”

 

Similar opinions were expressed by Social Democratic Party leader Mizuho Fukushima and Reiwa Shinsengumi’s Yasuhiko Funago.

 

U.N. undersecretary-general Izumi Nakamitsu said Japan will have an opportunity to clarify its position if its participation as an observer is realized.

 

Austrian diplomat Alexander Kmentt, who will chair the first meeting of parties to the treaty, voiced hope that Japan will play a historic role.

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