The letter from Governor of Hiroshima about the postponement of NPT RevCon
April 30, 2020
Thank you for your continued invaluable support and cooperation in the Hiroshima Prefectural Government’s promotion of peace.
A few weeks ago, the postponement of the 2020 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference was announced. In light of the worldwide spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), we understand the postponement of the NPT RevCon is unavoidable. However, I simultaneously feel regret, as during the current serious state of affairs concerning nuclear weapons, the conference serves as part of the incredibly vital process of multilateral negotiations for nuclear disarmament. Moreover, as 2020 is the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I also deeply regret having to postpone the dissemination of messages from the Hibakusha (A-bomb survivors), who desire for the abolition of nuclear weapons as quickly as possible, even just a day sooner.
I urge your Excellency to continue discussions in preparation for the conference, and actions which would produce concrete results towards nuclear disarmament.
We, Hiroshima Prefecture are also carrying out concrete initiatives, including policy proposals based on a new security approach to overcome nuclear deterrence, and increasing the support of peace initiatives. Through these efforts, we hope to contribute to a peaceful international society free from nuclear weapons.
Here I have enclosed the reports related to our initiatives, so I would appreciate if you could share with us some of your comments and opinions.
Seventy-five years ago on August 6, an atomic bomb – the first nuclear weapon used in human history – was dropped on Hiroshima. The scorching flash and blast waves released by the bomb instantly destroyed the city and took many precious lives. In light of this, it would be truly wonderful if Hiroshima could receive your continued assistance and guidance in order to realize a peaceful international community free of nuclear weapons. This is the deep desire of the Hibakusha, who continue to suffer from the after-effects of the atomic bomb to this day. Thus, I sincerely hope that the COVID-19 situation gets resolved, and the process towards nuclear disarmament restarts soon.
I avail myself of this opportunity to extend to you my prayers for your continued good health and success. In addition, I would like to invite you to visit Hiroshima, to further deepen your understanding of the realities of the atomic bombing, and to take a new step forward towards achieving a peaceful international community free of nuclear weapons.
Hiroshima Prefectural Government
- Hiroshima Report 2020 (full text and executive summary)
The 8th edition of the Report studies, analyzes and evaluates 36 countries’ performance on nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation, and nuclear security in 2019. The Hiroshima Prefectural Government hopes to make the Report more widely known, in order to bolster worldwide momentum towards the abolition of nuclear weapons, and to motivate each country to take new measures for nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and nuclear security.
- “Toward more responsible nuclear policy: Addressing concerns about lowering threshold of nuclear weapons use” by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)
Currently, the threshold to use nuclear weapons by nuclear-weapon states is lowering, anxiety increasing as a result. SIPRI and Hiroshima Prefecture jointly conducted research to address this issue, providing five recommendations including reassurance through declaratory policies, and reduction of uncertainty though transparency and doctrinal dialogue.
- “Perspectives on Nuclear Deterrence in the 21st Century” by Chatham House
Nuclear deterrence theory, with its roots in the Cold War era, may not account for all eventualities in the 21st century. Researchers at Chatham House have worked with eight experts to examine four contested themes in contemporary policymaking on deterrence.
- Chairman’s Statement and Urgent Appeal of Hiroshima Roundtable
The Hiroshima Roundtable gathered nuclear abolition and international relations experts including former Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs, former UN-Under Secretary-General, and experts from both the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House). Both the chairman’s statement calling for a peaceful international community free of nuclear weapons, and an urgent appeal to address the current serious situation concerning nuclear weapons, were released during the Roundtable.