Meeting Opens In Japan To Condemn Nuclear Weapons

The World Conference against A&H Bombs opened Wednesday in Hiroshima to mark the 61st year after the United States dropped atomic bombs in Japan.

Some 70 delegates from 21 nations are to call for a swift abolition of nuclear weapons, while discussing Japan’s war-denouncing constitution and international laws, as well as support and cooperation needed for the aging victims of the World War II attacks.

Participants include government representatives from Mexico, Egypt, Malaysia, Cuba and Arab nations. Non-governmental organizations include September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows of the United States, neighbouring Korean Atomic Bomb Casualty Association and the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace from India.

Sponsored by the Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs, the conference will close in Hiroshima on Sunday and move on to Nagasaki on Tuesday for a two-day meeting.

In parallel, another world convention is to follow in Hiroshima Friday through Sunday, which is sponsored by the Japan Congress against A- and H-Bombs. The conference will also continue in Nagasaki on Tuesday and Wednesday.

At the world meet, participants are to discuss ways to denuclearize the East Asian region, where tensions have been building.

Both world conferences are being held amid escalating international concerns over North Korea’s recent missile launches in the Sea of Japan and Israeli bombings of Lebanon.

Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba said Wednesday he would invite all nations’ commitment to "faithfully" engage in nuclear disarmament negotiations. Hiroshima plans to hold an annual ceremony to commemorate the 61st anniversary of bombing of the city on Sunday.

In this year’s Peace Declaration, Akiba will urge nuclear-weapons states to rule out cities as targets of nuclear attack.

The mayor will also ask the Japanese government to preserve its pacifist Constitution and enhance the support of aging atomic bomb survivors.   
   

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