JAPAN | Nagasaki mayor calls for nuclear-free NE Asia

Posted on August 3, 2011

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JAPAN | NHK | 3 August 2011

The mayor of Nagasaki has urged the Japanese government to start efforts to denuclearize Northeast Asia, as the first step toward creating a nuclear-free world.

Mayor Tomihisa Taue met with Foreign Minister Takeaki Matsumoto in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Mayor Taue said he has been garnering signatures from municipality chiefs across the country for a petition calling for Northeast Asia to be denuclearized. He said he has collected more than 100 signatures so far.

He said the Japanese government should support the movement in order to start denuclearization efforts.

Foreign Minister Matsumoto said US President Barack Obama called for a nuclear-free world and that the Japanese government has been making serious efforts toward achieving nuclear arms control and non-proliferation.

He says it will be not easy to realize such a world but that the government will take the will of the mayors seriously.

After the meeting, Taue told reporters that no progress will be made toward scrapping nuclear arms as long as people only call for abolishing such weapons without taking any specific action.

He says showing the efforts of Japan, the only country attacked by nuclear bombs, to realize a nuclear-free Northeast Asia will become a step toward reaching the next stage.

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Posted in: JAPAN