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Friday, September 07, 2012

Proposal for a World Convention of the Victims of Radiation 「核被害者世界大会」広島開催の提案

Yuki Tanaka of Hiroshima Peace Institute (Hiroshima City University) proposes a World Convention for Victims of Radiation in Hiroshima in 2015, the year that marks the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 広島平和研究所教授田中利幸さんより、2015年、広島長崎原爆の70周年の年に広島で「核被害者世界大会」を開催する提案です。日本語版の提案書は英語の下をご覧ください。

A Proposal for a World Convention for Victims of Radiation
- What we must do when all living creatures are facing crisis caused by radiation -  
The large quantity of high-level radiation, which is still being emitted from the crippled Fukushima No.1 Nuclear Power Plant continues to endanger not only the people and environment of Fukushima, but the entire nation, as well as many parts of Asia. 
The current situation constantly reminds Japanese people, in particular those from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, of the dreadful destructiveness and fatal consequences of radiation, as there are still A-bomb survivors amongst us, who have suffered deep physical and psychological pain for over 67 years. 
On August 6 1945, Hiroshima City was annihilated by a uranium bomb, and three days later Nagasaki City was destroyed by a plutonium bomb. Tens of thousands of people were killed instantly in each case, and by the end of the year more than 210 thousand had died.  A-bomb survivors always live with the fear of sudden illness, such as leukemia or cancer, due to irradiation.    
The use of nuclear weapons is unquestionably a crime against humanity. Similarly, indiscriminately killing and injuring large numbers of people and causing severe physical and psychological pain to the survivors must also be seen as such a crime. As citizens of Hiroshima we are well aware of this inhumanity. Unfortunately, it is likely that over the next decades many people will suffer from various illnesses due to both external and internal irradiation as a result of the nuclear power accident at Fukushima. It is estimated that 3.43 million people were irradiated in the Ukraine alone as a result of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power accident. A high incidence of various types of cancer and heart disease has since emerged amongst these people.  It seems appropriate, therefore, to claim that a nuclear power accident is a crime inflicting indiscriminate mass killing and injury. Radiation attacks indiscriminately, affecting unborn babies, infants and children in particular. 
Mass destruction and damage caused by a nuclear accident is equivalent to that caused by a nuclear attack.  We must remember that the nuclear reactor was originally invented to produce nuclear weapons. Thus when an accident happens to the reactor, the result is the same as employing nuclear weapons.
Victims of radiation are not limited to those of nuclear power accidents and nuclear weapons. Contamination by radiation is constantly produced at every phase of the so-called nuclear chain. It is a factor in uranium mining, in the enrichment of nuclear fuel, in the production of nuclear weapons including the so-called DU weapons, in nuclear tests, in operating nuclear power stations and in transporting and treating nuclear waste. As a result many people and environments in different places throughout the world have become victims of radiation.
In particular, many ethnic minority groups and their living environments have been affected. Algeria, Namibia, Zambia, Western Kazakhstan, Semipalatinsk, Lup Nur (Xinjiang-Uygur district), central Australia, the South Pacific Islands, North-western United States and many parts of Canada have all suffered as a result of radiation released from uranium mining and enrichment or from nuclear tests. Fishermen from the Japanese port of Yaizu are also among the victims of nuclear tests. So, too, are residents living near nuclear arsenals, such as Ural in the Russian Republic, Hanford and Rocky Flats in the United States and Sellafield in England, who have been irradiated by high levels of radiation released from the arsenals.
Looking at the effects of radiation caused by major nuclear power accidents, such as those at Chernobyl and Fukushima, as well as over 2,000 nuclear tests conducted to date on this planet, it is clear that victims of radiation are scattered across the world. Indeed, the entire planet and its inhabitants are now victims of radiation.
If one accepts the argument that “nuclear deterrence” is a crime against peace and “nuclear energy” contributes to this crime, it becomes clear that the entire nuclear chain is in fact a crime. Not only is it a crime against peace, the nuclear chain is also a crime against humanity, because it is indiscriminately victimizing large numbers of people. 
The Age of Nuclear Power, which began in the middle of the last century, could even be called a  “genocidal socio-political, economic and cultural system,” which was built upon the victimization of many living creatures including human beings. Human activity that contributes to the establishment and maintenance of such a system can be seen as criminal conduct, as it constantly endangers the existence of all living creatures and the planet as a whole. Sadly many people are still constantly engaged in such activities in various parts of the world.
Surely, it is now time to unite against this mass killing of living creatures due to the nuclear cycle and to abolish every phase of that cycle. If we fail to do so, sooner or later, we will destroy our planet and annihilate the human race. The late A-bomb survivor from Hiroshima and professor in philosophy, Moritaki Ichiro, once claimed “human beings cannot co-exist with nuclear weapons and power.” This dictum should be emphasized by rephrasing it as “no living creature can co-exist with nuclear weapons and power.” 
In her last years, the well-known Japanese sociologist, the late professor Tsurumi Kazuko, said “When all living creatures are now in danger of extinction, the last resort is our determination to live through.” As she said, we need determination to live through, but that determination must be extended to protect all fellow living creatures and the environment. Now is the time to act as we recognize the common fate of all creatures on this planet.    
To this end, we propose that representatives of all the victims of radiation in the world gather in Hiroshima in 2015, 70 years after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to appeal to the world for total abolition of the nuclear chain.
If you are interested in participating in planning this event, please contact us. 
Preparatory Committee for the World Convention of the Victims of Radiation
(Representative: Yuki Tanaka   E-mail: )


− 放射能による生命と地球の汚染に直面して私たちは何をなすべきか —






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