the Nobel Peace Prize award-ceremony held in Oslo, Norway, in December 2009, US President
Barack Obama expressed his determination to realize a "world without nuclear weapons."
In the wake of that declaration, US Ambassador to Japan John Roos attended this year's
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony for the first time on behalf of the U.S.A, and United
Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also attend it for the first time as UN Secretary-General,
making it a new step toward the abolition of nuclear weapons. It was in these circumstances
that RENGO held peace assemblies in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
On August 4 RENGO (Japanese Trade Union Confederation), together
with Gensuikin (Japan Congress Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs) and Kakkin (National
Council for Peace and Against Nuclear Weapons), held the 2010 Peace Action in Hiroshima
with the participation of about 6,800 Rengo-affiliated union members from across Japan.
Speaking on behalf of the organizers, RENGO President Nobuaki Koga said, "On the occasion
of the Review Conference for the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty held at the United Nations
Headquarters in New York in May of this year, as joint action by the three organizations,
we held a peace assembly for nongovernmental organizations, a parade to appeal for peace,
and a panel exhibition of atomic bomb photos. We also submitted a '10-million-signatures
petition' calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons and addressed to UN Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon. Furthermore, it was a major achievement for Japan, which suffered
atomic bombings in the past, that the final document of the Review Conference included
a clause reflecting the Japanese government's proposal to the effect that all nuclear-weapon
states should undertake concrete disarmament efforts and report on their activities to
the Preparatory Committee in 2014."
Next, Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba emphasized, "I will make the utmost efforts to
establish a clear consensus toward a nuclear-free world and to create further momentum
toward the abolition of nuclear weapons by 2020."
Gemma Adaba, head of the United Nations Office of the International Trade Union Confederation
(ITUC), told the assembly that we must continue to pursue the complete abolition of nuclear
weapons and that we have a duty to do so not only to the tens of thousands of people
who lost their lives but also to all of those survivors who have kept up this pursuit
as the reason for their existence.
In an appeal from the sufferers of the atomic bombing, Hiromi Hasai, a member of the
Hiroshima Prefecture Organization of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers, declared, "Let's create
a world together in which the abolition of nuclear weapons and opposition to war are
regarded as perfectly commonplace and natural."
On August 7 Rengo, together with Gensuikin and Kakkin, held the
2010 Nagasaki Peace Assembly for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons with the participation
of about 4,500 RENGO-affiliated union members and others.
Addressing the gathering on behalf of the organizers, Rengo General Secretary Hiroyuki
Nagumo said with determination, "Sixty-five years ago, on August 9, the precious lives
of more than 70,000 people were ended by a single atomic bomb. I would like to express
my sincere condolences to those who perished and also my sympathy to those who are still
suffering from the aftereffects today. As we have done until now, RENGO will continue
to strongly demand the recognition of illnesses caused by atomic-bomb radiation and the
improvement of measures to assist sufferers living overseas, second- and third-generation
sufferers, people who experienced the atomic bombing, and so on."
Next, Nagasaki Prefecture Governor Hodo Nakamura said, "As a local government with experience
of atomic bombing, Nagasaki Prefecture has a duty to speak loudly to the people of the
world about the horror of atomic bombings and the suffering of victims. I will continue
to appeal persistently and strongly for the abolition of nuclear weapons and the realization
of peace throughout the world."
In a message of solidarity, Gemma Adaba, head of the United Nations Office of the ITUC,
said that the ITUC will engage in activities in solidarity with the participants in the
assembly in order to realize the dreams of people who wish for the abolition of nuclear
weapons and permanent peace.
Finally, the assembly proposed and unanimously adopted the "Peace Appeal from Nagasaki" aiming
for the abolition of nuclear weapons and realization of permanent peace and calling,
among other things, for strengthening of the movement and improvement of measures for
atomic-bomb sufferers. The assembly ended with a chant by all participants against atomic