Letter to Morning Star:
I was really surprised that the Morning Star, which is the best newspaper for reports on the actions of the global peace movement, did not publish any articles on either the annual peace commemorations at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan to mark the74th anniversary of the atomic immolation of both cities in August 1945.
Inexplicably, neither did you publish any photographs in your regular Saturday ‘struggle on the streets’ page of photos of protests around the world.
On 6 August, Hiroshima 's Mayor Kazumi Matsui – in peace declaration speech- told the international gathering of some some 50,000 peace activists from 90 countries at the Peace Memorial Park near ‘Ground Zero’ in his city.
"I call on the government of the only country to experience a nuclear weapon in war to accede to the hibakusha's (atomic bomb survivors') request that the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons be signed and ratified.” (The TPNW was backed at the United Nations in July 2017 with the support of 122 nations.)
Mayor Matsui added "I urge Japan's leaders to manifest the pacifism of the Japanese Constitution by displaying leadership in taking the next step toward a world free from nuclear weapons."
United Nations’ Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in his message, "The world is indebted to" [people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the other A-bombed city,] "for their courage and moral leadership in reminding us all about the human cost of nuclear war."
Three days later in Nagasaki, Mayor Tomihisa Taue used his city’s memorial ceremony to to back Hiroshima’ Mayor Matsui call on Japan’s government to immediately sign a U.N. treaty banning nuclear weapons.
As a step toward joining the treaty, Mayor Taue called on Japan “to seize the trend toward denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and to initiate efforts to make Northeast Asia a nuclear-free zone where all countries coexist under, not a ‘nuclear umbrella,’ but a ‘non-nuclear umbrella.'”
Civil society groups including A-bomb survivors have “shown the power time and again to change the world,” he said, citing the important role played by citizens in concluding the treaty. “The power of a single individual is small but by no means weak.”
Referring to the review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty next spring, the keystone of the international nuclear disarmament regime, Taue said, “All the nuclear states should recall the meaning of the treaty.”
Mayor Taue also rightly called on the United States and Russia to “assume responsibility as nuclear superpowers” by setting a specific course to “drastically reduce nuclear stockpiles.”