Japan announced on Monday, October 26 that it will not sign the proposed UN Treaty that bans nuclear weapons, in addition, it has added that it does not welcome the fact that the treaty comes into force next year. Despite Japan’s refusal to sign the treaty, atomic bomb survivors in Japan continue to urge the government to accept the terms of the treaty and work towards a nuclear-free world.
The United Nations announced on Saturday, October 24 that 50 countries till now had signed the treaty banning nuclear weapons and had paved the way for the treaty which will enter into force in roughly 90 days. The treaty has been hailed by anti-nuclear activists around the world but has been vehemently opposed by the United States and other major nuclear powers.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato weighed in on the nuclear ban treaty debate and stated that Japan wholeheartedly supports the idea of a nuclear-weapon-free world but does not believe that the treaty is the way to achieve that. Japan despite being the only country to have suffered from a nuclear attack has refused to sign the treaty primarily because Japan houses 50,000 American troops and is also under the protection of the US nuclear umbrella.
Kato later added that Japan needs “to appropriately respond to the current security threats, by maintaining or strengthening our deterrence. We have to be realistic about promoting nuclear disarmament”. Atomic bomb survivors in Japan have worked hard for this treaty and Japan’s refusal to sign the treaty has renewed their call for Japan to become a signatory of the UN treaty.
The UN Nuclear weapons ban treaty was approved during the 2017 session of the UN General Assembly. The US has reportedly urged signatories of the treaties to re-evaluate their support for the treaty. The US in its letters stated that the US along with the other nuclear powers, Russia, China, Britain and France as well as America’s NATO-allies stand united in opposition to this treaty.
(With AP inputs, Image AP)