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Hibakusha group urges Japan to ratify nuclear ban treaty

Tokyo, Dec. 21 (Jiji Press)–The Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations submitted on Tuesday signatures of 657,174 people urging the government to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

 

“Japan is the only country to have experienced a nuclear attack in war, and now is the time to lead the world in abolishing nuclear weapons,” said Sueichi Kido, 81, secretary-general of the group of hibakusha atomic bomb survivors.

 

The group submitted signatures collected between January, when the treaty went into effect, and the end of November. It will continue to gather signatures.

 

“It’s important to be at the discussion table and express its thinking,” Kido said of Japan’s reluctance to join the first meeting of treaty signatories next March as an observer. “We want the government to attend the meeting as a first step.”

 

The treaty had been signed by 86 countries and regions and ratified by 58 countries and regions as of Thursday, according to the U.N. Office for Disarmament Affairs’ website.

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