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Speeches and Statements by the Prime Minister

Address by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda at the Global Forum on Disarmament & Non-Proliferation Education in Nagasaki

Friday, August 10, 2012

[Provisional Translation]


Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, I am Yoshihiko Noda, Prime Minister of Japan.

First of all, I would like to express our heartfelt welcome to you all coming from all over the world for this Global Forum on Disarmament & Non-Proliferation Education.

In the summer of 67 years ago, the atomic bomb was dropped here, on Nagasaki, and the precious lives of as many as 70,000 people were instantaneously lost. Even for those who managed to survive, the bomb has left them indescribable suffering and incurable scars.

As the only country to have experienced nuclear devastation in war, Japan has responsibility to all humankind to hand down our experience of horrors caused by nuclear weapons beyond generations and borders. Last year, Japan submitted a draft resolution on nuclear disarmament to the United Nations General Assembly and the resolution was adopted by an overwhelming majority. Towards the realization of "a world without nuclear weapons," Japan leads the international discussion in the areas of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, by cooperating with other countries that share the same determination.

Humankind must never forget the horror of nuclear weapons and never repeat this tragedy in the human history again.

Disarmament and non-proliferation education forms an essential social basis for us to "memorize" the tragic experience and to pass on the passion for "actions" of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Today, not only the public sector but also broad range of actors, such as research and educational institutions, NGOs and media, are actively engaging in actions of this area. "Special Communicators for a World without Nuclear Weapons" is one example of these actions by speaking about their experiences of the atomic bombing around the world.

As 67 years have passed since the atomic bombings, many of the atomic bomb survivors who could tell their experiences with their own voices had already passed away and remaining survivors are aging rapidly. The efforts to "memorize the experiences" and to pass on "the passion for actions" are at a historically important juncture.

This forum provides an opportunity to further strengthen the cooperation among people from all over the world who engage in the disarmament and non-proliferation education.

The two-day discussion from today will be broadcast to the world in real time. We have a session to deliberate on disarmament and non-proliferation issues from multidimensional perspectives, under the topic of establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear and all other weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems.

The Government of Japan supports the further development of this global forum and the steady expansion of the discussion network on disarmament and non-proliferation education beyond borders and generations.

Recalling our lofty responsibility to the future of mankind, I would like to conclude my message with my strong expectation for your lively discussion.

Thank you.

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