The 69th World Conference Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs has begun under tense political circumstances produced by the Abe government; the situation is ‘peace or war’. The atmosphere comes from a cabinet decision to approve the right of collective self-defense in the context of unprecedented interpretation of the existing constitution, which until today has rejected such a right.
Our task is to enhance mass movements to make the 21st century peaceful, which means to eliminate nuclear arms and wars and lead our society to abandoning nuclear power generation.
STRUGGLES TOWARD WORLD WITHOUT NUKES AND NUCLEAR ENERGY
Mankind lives in a world far from absence of nuclear arms and wars as we see warfare going on in Ukraine, Palestine, Syria and Iraq. The 2014 SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) report describes ‘16,300 nuclear warheads exist’ in the world.
It says a decrease is found by 930 of the nuclear warheads compared with the number of 2013, but nobody can really feel that the world goes toward eliminating nuclear weapons.
US Pledge ? Questionable
It is five years since President Obama of the United States, the sole nation that has used nuclear arms, addressed in Prague, Czech, when he told ‘to realize a world without nuclear weapons’.
The US and Russia concluded an agreement, a New START (=Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), to reduce the number of deployed nuclear warhead to 1,550, respectively, by the year of 2018. But the US continues researches how to maintain its nuclear capability. The President’s pledge is questionable.
Furthermore, India, Pakistan and Israel possess nuclear arms, and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea conducted three times of tests. Since 1968 when the NPT (=Non-Proliferation Treaty) was signed the number of nuclear nations has grown to nine. In addition, Iran has a program.
A review conference of NPT is scheduled in 2015 when the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki will be commemorated. Under the NPT system a plutonium issue is another important agendum. Nuclear power plants in the world operate everyday to produce to increase plutonium. Technological development on reprocessing accelerates proliferation, which threatens the world.
Japan possesses 45 tons of plutonium, which is equivalent to 5,500 units of a Nagasaki-type bomb as it maintains reprocessing and nuclear fuel cycle of wastes produced from the plants. Thus, the rest of the world sees Japan as ‘a military threat’ as such plutonium may not be used as fuel for the plants.
People Pay for Costs
The only way to keep plutonium from increasing is to stop eternally operation of nuclear power plants and to abandon the nuclear fuel cycle. The substance is extraordinarily dangerous and troublesome. However, the Abe government begins with reoperation at the Sendai Plant owned by Kyushu Electric Power Co., although no positive solution is seen to recuperate from the disaster at the Fukushima plants. Furthermore, the government sets export of nuclear power plants as one of the pivotal economic strategies. That means it protects profits of nuclear industry capitals and puts responsibility on to Japanese people for accidents and proliferation.
Over 130 thousand people live inside and outside the Fukushima Prefecture as evacuees from the Fukushima accidents. A prospect is vague yet for them to return home safely, but the government proceeds with a policy to back home.
Furthermore there exists a problem of Hibakushas, or radiation-exposed people, of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well as Fukushima. Concerning nukes and energy, so many agenda are left intact as they are complex, difficult and endless.
For these reasons we must create a society as early as possible in which nukes are eliminated and power plants are discarded.
August 5, 2014