Letter from Nagasaki to the World’s Governments

2017 World Conference against A & H Bombs – Nagasaki
August 9, 2017

Special Resolution: Letter from Nagasaki to the World’s Governments

We met in Nagasaki, a city that suffered an atomic bomb attack 72 years ago, to call on the world’s governments to join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as a first step towards completely eliminating nuclear weapons.

The two cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were annihilated in an instant by the atomic bombings, which took the lives of about 210,000 people by the end of the year. Those who barely survived had their hometowns burnt down, had to endure emotional damage from the loss of their loved ones and have suffered from various aftereffects from exposure to A-bomb radiation. Further, they were forced to live in economic and social hardships. But the Hibakusha have expressed the lofty determination to live, saying “Thus, we have reassured our will to save humanity from its crisis through the lessons learned from our experiences, while at the same time saving ourselves,” (*) and they have continued to call for “No more Hiroshimas or Nagasakis.”

We wholeheartedly welcome the adoption of the treaty, which meets this aspiration. The treaty, mindful of the unacceptable suffering and harm caused to the victims by the use of nuclear weapons (Hibakusha), makes provision to support the Hibakusha and recognizes the role of the Hibakusha and civil society in calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. We urge the world’s governments to act on this humanitarian position.

Just as the treaty recalls the first resolution of the UN General Assembly, the elimination of nuclear weapons is a task that marked the start of the United Nations and postwar international politics. The realization of a world without nuclear weapons is essential for equally providing all countries and their people with peace and security.

The treaty outlaws nuclear weapons on the grounds of principles of international law and prohibits any activities linked to such weapons. It also opens the way for the states possessing nuclear weapons to join the treaty and suggests a framework whereby nuclear weapon states can work to achieve a complete elimination of nuclear weapons. This has been made possible thanks to the reason and intelligence demonstrated by people in many countries. We call on all governments to fulfill their responsibilities in line with reason and law.

On September 20, the treaty will be open for signature to all states. We request that your government swiftly sign and ratify the treaty.

As members of civil society that helped produce this treaty, and also as a movement in the only A-bombed country, we are determined to work to fulfill our duties, in cooperation with the United Nations as well as governments that share the objective.


(*) From the “Message to the World”, the founding declaration of the Japan Confederation of A-and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo) in 1956

Download the letter here