New U.N. disarmament chief Nakamitsu backs proposal for global nuclear weapons ban

The Japan Times

NEW YORK โ€“ Izumi Nakamitsu, the new U.N. undersecretary-general and high representative for disarmament affairs, said Thursday she will throw her full support behind negotiations to ban nuclear weapons. In an interview, Nakamitsu, 53, said she will pay official visits to Hiroshima and Nagasaki this summer, if invited, with the aim of making an international appeal for disarmament from the atom-bombed Japanese cities. Nakamitsu, who assumed the new posts on Monday, gave her blessing to the view held by non-nuclear countries in favor of an international treaty to outlaw nuclear weapons that a disarmament accord would complement the regime of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. She also said it is "critically important" to make a success of an NPT review conference to be held in 2020. Unlike the U.N.-backed talks on a nuclear weapons ban treaty, which began in March, the NPT review process involves major nuclear powers. Nakamitsu said she hopes Japan, the only country in the world to have suffered nuclear attacks, will serve as a bridge between nuclear and non-nuclear nations.


Global arms control architecture 'collapsing' with Russia-U.S. INF pullout, says U.N. chief Antonio Guterres

The Japan Times

GENEVA - The international arms control system is facing collapse, the United Nations chief said Monday, as he urged Russia and the U.S. to stop the imminent demise of a crucial nuclear treaty.


U.N. chief Guterres may visit Nagasaki to mark 73rd anniversary of 1945 atomic bombing

The Japan Times

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is considering attending the annual commemoration of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, according to diplomatic sources. It would be the first time for a U.N. secretary-general to attend the Aug. 9 anniversary. In 2010 Guterres' predecessor, Ban Ki Moon, became the first U.N. chief to attend the event marking the Hiroshima atomic bombing. The annual commemorations in the two cities are attended by the prime minister and other leading politicians. Nagasaki was the second city to be targeted in 1945, only three days after the city of Hiroshima.


As nuke ban treaty talks kick off at U.N., hibakusha hand over petition with 3 million signatures

The Japan Times

NEW YORK โ€“ Survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Friday presented a petition with nearly 3 million signatures to U.N. officials as a conference to negotiate the world's first nuclear weapons ban treaty got underway. Toshiyuki Mimaki, 75, and Masako Wada, 73 -- survivors, respectively, of the Hiroshima bombing on Aug. 6, 1945, and the Nagasaki bombing three days later -- handed over the signatures and an accompanying letter to Costa Rican Ambassador Elayne Whyte Gomez, who serves as chair of the three-week conference that began on Thursday. A group of hibakusha living in Japan and abroad began a campaign last spring to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Japan Confederation of A-and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo). "We collected about 3 million signatures," Wada, Hidankyo's assistant secretary general, told Gomez as she presented a red paper crane made by her elderly relative. "She encouraged us to collect more and more signatures.


In a first, U.N. chief Antonio Guterres to visit Nagasaki for 73rd anniversary of atomic bombing

The Japan Times

NEW YORK โ€“ U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres will travel to Nagasaki to attend the annual commemoration of the atomic bombing of the city, the United Nations said Tuesday. It will be the first time for a U.N. secretary-general to attend the Aug. 9 anniversary. In 2010, Guterres' predecessor, Ban Ki-moon, became the first U.N. chief to attend the event marking the Hiroshima atomic bombing. Nagasaki was the second city to be targeted in 1945, only three days after Hiroshima. The atomic bombings took place late in World War II and heralded the start of the nuclear age.