Ambassador Kitano's Speech at the Commemoration for All Affected by Atomic Bombing and Testing: 75th Anniversary of the First Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima

2020/8/6
Good afternoon,
Lord Mayor of Dublin
Reverend Patrick Comeford, President of Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament,
Dr. Hutchinson Edgar, Chairperson of Irish CND,
Ladies and gentlemen,
 
The Government of Japan expresses heartfelt gratitude to the Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament for hosting this annual commemoration for all affected by atomic bombing and testing on this Hiroshima Day. Our sincere respect to the continued efforts of Irish CND towards the abolition of nuclear weapons.
 
With humanity exposed to the unprecedented crisis of Covid-19 and the world tackling this virus with a sense of urgency, we are facing an unforeseeable future. I believe it is of great importance, at this juncture, to think about another issue which could affect the future of all of us, the issue of nuclear weapons.
 
Today, August 6, is a special day for Japan. Personally, I have been to Hiroshima a number of times, and have attended the commemorative ceremony on August 6 in Hiroshima on multiple occasions. So, it is a great honor for me to attend today’s ceremony in Dublin as Ambassador of Japan. I would like to express my gratitude for the sympathy Irish people place on this matter.
 
I, together with you all gathered here, would like to offer our thoughts to those who have lost lives in Hiroshima, and who continue to suffer from the after-effects of the atomic bombing and testing to this day.
 
As the only atomic-bombed nation, we believe it is essential to convey the atrocity of the atomic bomb beyond borders and generations. From that perspective, I would like to thank all the people who participated in this ceremony today.
 
Today, the Prime Minister of Japan ABE Shinzo stated in Hiroshima the following.
 
 “Tragedy in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. People’s suffering caused by that. We should never repeat them again. It continues to be an unchanged mission for Japan to bring forward the efforts of the international community toward a world free of nuclear weapons, step-by-step and steadily. Given the severe security environment and the divergence of views on nuclear disarmament, it is essential to eliminate distrust through mutual engagement and dialogue as well as to exert efforts toward building common ground.”
 
Japan has been working with a view to building bridges between nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states through platforms such as Nonproliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI), a group of non-nuclear weapon states and the ‘Group of Eminent Persons for Substantive Advancement of Nuclear Disarmament’, putting forward realistic and practical efforts in engaging with nuclear weapon states.
 
Japan continues to attach great importance to the NPT, and is committed to non-proliferation efforts. Japan has also been working hard to facilitate entry-into-force of CTBT (Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty). We also stress the importance of disarmament and non-proliferation education to permeate knowledge in this field.
 
Ireland has played a crucial role in the establishment of NPT, in proposing what is now known as ‘the Irish resolution’, and has proactively worked in this field of disarmament and non-proliferation for decades.
 
Today, Mr Simon Coveney, Minister for Foreign Affairs declared that Ireland is ratifying the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons at the UN in New York. I understand this represents another clear indication of the dedication of Ireland toward a world free of nuclear weapons.
 
On this day to mark the 75th year of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima, I would like to appeal to all to renew our commitment and determination for striving towards a world without nuclear weapons.
 
Thank you.