Hiroshima and Nagasaki are the only two cities in the world that suffered the devastation of the atomic bombings. Since last year, Hiroshima and Nagasaki Prefectures have rapidly collaborated as the governing bodies of the once-bombed cities. Let us hear more about Nagasaki Prefecture’s peace initiatives from Mr. Shoji Takashige, the planning supervisor of the Nagasaki Prefecture International Affairs Division and the one in charge of the prefecture’s peace-related projects.
● Nagasaki Prefecture’s Peace Initiatives
Nagasaki City has taken the lead in spreading the reality of the atomic bombings and passing on the stories of the victims’ experiences during the tragedy. In cooperation with Nagasaki City, Nagasaki Prefecture has dispatched atomic bomb survivor lecturers to elementary and junior high schools in other cities and towns, holding the Nagasaki Peace Academy, where international students within the prefecture can interact with Japanese university students. Nagasaki Prefecture, Nagasaki City, and Nagasaki University have joined together to establish the PCU Nagasaki Council for Nuclear Weapons Abolition (PCU-NC), which conducts research and public lectures on nuclear weapons abolition.
Atomic bomb survivor’s lecture at Nagasaki Peace Academy
PCU Nagasaki Council for Nuclear Weapons Abolition Homepage
● Collaboration with Hiroshima Prefecture
Nagasaki Prefecture originally focused its efforts on raising peace awareness for its residents. However, with the inauguration of Governor Oishi Kengo last year, efforts were shifted to vigorously disseminating information outside the prefecture.
Nagasaki Prefecture began its renewed efforts last year by joining the Global Alliance for Sustainable Peace and Prosperity for All (GASPPA), an international civil society group established by the Hiroshima Organization for Global Peace (HOPe). GASPPA is a group aiming to encourage the international community to rethink the issue of nuclear weapons not only in terms of security but also in terms of sustainability, which affects the environment, society, economy, and many other domains. GASPPA is currently working with organizations in 24 countries to have the abolition of nuclear weapons added to the United Nations Development Goals (post-SDGs) for 2030 onwards.
In August 2022, Governor Oishi participated for the first time in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference at the UN Headquarters in New York. On that occasion, Nagasaki and Hiroshima Prefectures co-hosted a side event concerning nuclear weapons and sustainability. Governor Oishi and Hiroshima Governor Yuzaki Hidehiko also participated in the event, leading to discussions between prominent intellectuals/activists and GASPPA members.
Joint statement made at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference on the Operation of the NPT
(Left: Governor Yuzaki, Right: Governor Oishi）
Furthermore, in preparation for the G7 Hiroshima Summit, Governor Oishi and Governor Yuzaki jointly presented the proposal, “Leading the World Towards a Future Without Nuclear Weapons,” to Prime Minister Kishida and Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Takei.
The G7 Health Ministers’ Meeting in Nagasaki will also take place simultaneously with the G7 Hiroshima Summit this year. In conjunction with this, the governors handed a written request to Prime Minister Kishida, asking him to express their wish to abolish nuclear weapons.
Proposal to Prime Minister Kishida
In 2023, Governors Oishi and Yuzaki jointly presented a letter to countries that issued sustainability-related statements during the Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). This letter introduced GASSPA’s initiatives.
● Future Initiatives
In FY 2023, Nagasaki Prefecture plans to have its high school students participate in Hiroshima Prefecture’s Global Mirai Juku in Hiroshima while having Hiroshima high school students who are participating in Mirai Juku come to Nagasaki to exchange views.
By working together, we have much to learn from Hiroshima Prefecture. We also share the challenge of the aging of the atomic bomb survivors. There is no doubt both prefectures aim to create a world without nuclear weapons. Therefore, we will continue to work together toward this common goal.
Mr. Shoji Takashige
Planning Supervisor, Nagasaki Prefecture International Affairs Division