The Japan Council Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs (Gensuikyo), has been working since 1955 for a total ban on nuclear weapons and support and solidarity for the A-bomb survivors and victims of all nuclear developments in the world. It is a federated body of 60 national organizations, including youth, women, labor, medical institutions and others with a combined membership of 2.5 million. There are prefectural and local Gensuikyo organizations in all 47 prefectures affiliated to Japan Gensuikyo.
The organization upholds the three goals established in the First World Conference against A and H Bombs: prevention of nuclear war, abolition of nuclear weapons, and relief and solidarity for the Hibakusha (“explosion-affected people”) the surviving victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki . It has worked to develop public opinion and cooperation among people for the core task of abolishing nuclear weapons. In so doing, it has succeeded in transcending differences of thought, creed and political position.
Its activities include:
The World Conference against A & H Bombs, held annually from August 6-9 in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Working together with the Hibakusha, the World Conference has contributed to spreading the message of “Hiroshima and Nagasaki Never Again” to all corners of the world, to save the human race from the danger of nuclear catastrophe. The World Conference draws together some 10,000 delegates from all over Japan, including representatives of anti-nuclear peace groups and nuclear victims’ organizations of the world. At the conference these people are able to exchange experiences and information and discuss future directions for the movement to send out to the world. Several members of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows have spoken at this international event.
A nationwide peace march
Since 1958, a three-month nationwide peace march has been organized, starting in May on 11 and taking different routes heading for Hiroshima and Nagasaki to join the World Conference. Along the way, many mini peace marches have branched out from the main routes, to spread the message of peace to all local communities in Japan. A total of about 100,000 people took part in one or more of these marches last year.
Day-to-day campaigns for the abolition of nuclear weapons
Japan Gensuikyo’s “Don’t Use Nuclear Weapons, Abolish Them” campaign addresses the United States’ open declaration that it will not take the use of nuclear weapons off the table and that it is developing “battlefield” nuclear weapons in relation to the current wars in the Middle East.
A signature campaign in support of the “Appeal from Hiroshima and Nagasaki for a Total Ban and the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons” was launched by the representatives of anti-nuclear peace movements of 12 countries, including Japan Gensuikyo in 1985. The signatures collected for this appeal exceeded 61 million (out of Japan’s population of 127 million), and in 800 local municipalities, including 17 prefectures (Kyoto, Osaka, Tokyo and others) more than half of their citizens signed the appeal. This extensive “Appeal” signature campaign contributed greatly to the enhancement of public opinion demanding the abolition of nuclear weapons, as evidenced by the growing number of nuclear-free declaration municipalities. Currently, more than 70% of the Japanese people live in such municipalities.
Japan Gensuikyo’s Nuclear-free Local Municipality Movement and “Nuclear-Free Kobe Formula” now includes 2600 out of 3300 local governments, and in 17 prefectures all the local municipalities have declared themselves nuclear-free. This means that 70% of the Japanese people now live in nuclear-free cities or towns. These nuclear-free municipality governments are working on the promotion of peace education (organizing meetings to listen to the Hibakusha, A-bomb photo exhibitions, etc.) or legislating peace ordinances.
Japan Gensuikyo demands that the Japanese government stop its war cooperation and subordination to the United States, denouncing the Japanese Government for its acceptance of the U.S. preemptive strike policy and the policy of the use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states.
2-4-4 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku Tokyo 113-8464 (Japan)