Hibakusha Groups Press Abe to Ratify Nuke Ban Treaty

Society

Hiroshima, Aug. 6 (Jiji Press)--Seven groups of hibakusha atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima strongly urged Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday to sign and ratify the U.N. nuclear weapons ban treaty.

The 75th anniversary on the day of the U.S. atomic bombing of the western Japan city is a "good opportunity" for the government to meet the hibakusha demand, Toshiyuki Mimaki, 78, acting head of one of the groups, said at a meeting with the prime minister. "We want the government to give hope to hibakusha," Mimaki stressed.

"Although we have a different approach, our country shares the same goal with the treaty of abolishing nuclear weapons," Abe said. "We'll proactively lead international discussions to advance nuclear disarmament efforts."

Kunihiko Sakuma, 75, head of another hibakusha group, demanded the government refrain from appealing a recent ruling by Hiroshima District Court that recognized all plaintiffs in the "black rain" lawsuit as hibakusha.

Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Katsunobu Kato, who also attended the meeting, said his ministry takes the ruling seriously and will decide its response after consulting with the Hiroshima prefectural and city governments, as well as other related government agencies.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press