The first conference of a panel aimed at bridging the gap on disarmament between nuclear and nonnuclear countries is set to be held by the government in Hiroshima in November, Foreign Minister Taro Kono said Friday. The panel of 16 experts from Japan and abroad will assemble on Nov. 27 and 28 in Hiroshima, which was destroyed by an A-bomb in 1945. Kono said he hopes they will "think thoroughly about what kind of initiative Japan should take." The panel is expected to deliver findings to Kono in March next year. The ministry hopes to present those findings at a Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty conference to be convened in Geneva in April.
FILE - In this Dec. 10, 1982 file photo, co-winner of the 1982 Nobel Peace Prize, Alfonso Garcia Robles, of Mexico, poses with his Nobel prize diploma and medal in Oslo, Norway, awarded for his work on behalf of nuclear disarmament. The Nobel Peace Prize medal awarded to the Mexican diplomat and nuclear disarmament expert will be auctioned in April 2017. Christie's in New York made the announcement on Tuesday, Feb. 14, the 50th anniversary of the signing of a treaty that created a nuclear-free zone in Latin America and the Caribbean.
President Donald Trump reportedly asked a foreign policy expert three times why the US can't use nuclear weapons during his presidential campaign. While world leaders may have been right to criticise Trump's line of questioning amid global promises to reduce nuclear stockpiles, why are world nuclear powers expanding and updating their arsenals instead? In this week's Reality Check, Mehdi Hasan exposes the hypocrisy of the global nuclear elite. Follow UpFront on Twitter @AJUpFront and Facebook.
U.S. President Barack Obama's historic Hiroshima visit Friday signifies a step forward in his stated 2009 dream of a "world without nuclear weapons." Tokyo and Washington say Obama's trip offers a chance to recognize the tremendous suffering of innocent citizens caused by the U.S. nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But Obama's trip also casts light on key questions, including why Japan has welcomed his visit without a formal apology, and how much Obama has accomplished toward his goal of nuclear disarmament amid increasing -- and menacing -- military buildups in China, North Korea and elsewhere. The Hiroshima gesture is especially important for Obama, who is facing mounting criticism from nonnuclear powers that disarmament has made little progress since his Nobel Peace Prize-winning speech in Prague on April 5, 2009. As for Japan, aside from an overwhelming public view that Obama does not need to apologize, experts point out Japan's no-apology stance underscores the contradicting political reality of a country that has benefited from the U.S. nuclear umbrella throughout the postwar era.