Tokyo Forum

Diplomats Hold Tokyo Forum on Disarmament

Japan-2016-04-06-Diplomats Hold Tokyo Forum on Disarmament

Tokyo, Japan—The 26th Peace Diplomats Forum was held by UPF-Japan on the theme “Japan’s Role in Disarmament and Non-Proliferation.”

The date of the forum, April 6, was significant, as it came between the Nuclear Security Summit held in Washington, D.C., on April 1 and the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting that would be held in Hiroshima on April 10.

The forum, held at the Conference Hall of the United Nations University in Tokyo, attracted more than 80 participants, including 39 senior diplomats from 35 embassies in Japan. In addition, many distinguished Japanese leaders, such as former parliamentarians, former ambassadors, professors, and journalists representing major media organizations, were in attendance.

After the forum was called to order by the master of ceremonies, Mr. Shigenari Kato, secretary general of UPF-Japan’s Peace Diplomats Forum, Dr. Eiji Tokuno, president of UPF-Japan, gave the opening remarks.

Dr. Tokuno noted that this year is the 60th anniversary of Japan’s joining the United Nations and expressed that UPF, as a United Nations NGO, would work together with the UN and support the UN to realize lasting world peace.

Ambassador Tetsuya Endo, Japan’s first ambassador to the international organizations in Vienna and a representative advisor to the Peace Diplomats Forum, in his welcoming remarks pointed out the delicate position of Japan between striving for nuclear disarmament and being protected under the U.S. nuclear umbrella. He emphasized Japan’s role in keeping the world safe from nuclear threats.

The keynote speech was given by Ambassador Nobuyasu Abe, a former United Nations under-secretary general for disarmament affairs. The speech was begun by quoting the words of Mr. Donald Trump, a candidate to be the next U.S. president, about allowing Japan to build its own nuclear arsenals. However, Ambassador Abe definitely denied the possibility of Japan acquiring nuclear weapons, since Japan has many legal barriers to owning nuclear arms as well as a strong anti-nuclear sentiment among its people.

He also stressed the huge destructive forces of nuclear weapons, including the lingering effects of radiation and indiscriminate destruction, which is the reason to insist on abolishing nuclear weapons.

After the keynote speech and productive discussion among the participants, the ceremony of awarding two new Ambassadors for Peace was held. The certificates were given by Dr. Yong Cheon Song, regional chair of UPF-Japan, and Dr. Tokuno.

After the seminar’s closing, there was a time for the participants to enjoy refreshments and conversation with one another.

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