2012 Citizens’ Peace Declaration
August 6, 2012
“When all living creatures are now in danger of extinction, the last resort is our determination to live through.” the late professor Tsurumi Kazuko
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 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.
Contamination by radiation, either as a result of a nuclear power accident or due to the use of nuclear weapons, forces many residents to migrate far away from their homes. This leads to disintegration of the local community and the close relationship between residents. Families, too, are destroyed when couples lose partners and children, either due to illness caused by irradiation or financial difficulties that lead to breakdowns. Old people, who loose their family and are forced to live alone in refuge shelters, often die in solitude, as was the experience of many A-bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In short radiation ruins human society.
Politicians and entrepreneurs who advocate nuclear power are reluctant to take responsibility for its failures, dismissing them as “incidents that exceed hypothesis.” As they abdicate accountability from the beginning, obligation to the victims always seems to be abandoned. After the Fukushima accident, not only people, but many animals including cattle were abandoned and starved to death. Environmental contamination affecting soil, river and seawater, destroys primary industries, such as agriculture and fisheries, the most essential industries for the survival of human beings. Effectively, this means that people lose “the right to live in peace,” which was proclaimed and guaranteed in the preamble of Japan’s Constitution as well as in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. At the same time radiation makes the survival of all living creatures impossible, denying their right to live. As humans we have no right to deprive other creatures of the right to live. Yet, in fact, a handful of us are monopolizing such authority.
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. From the start Japan’s development of nuclear energy was also aimed at developing and maintaining a nuclear weapons capability. The policy of “three non-nuclear principles” – “not to produce, not to possess, and not to allow to bring in nuclear weapons” – was introduced in order to conceal the real intention without giving substance to the policy. At the same time, Japan has recklessly promoted the so-called “nuclear fuel cycle industry” in order to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons, having so far spent 10 trillion yen. Even now, a year and a half after the Fukushima nuclear accident, the Japanese government and nuclear industries have no plan to abolish this policy, which has endangered the lives of many living creatures including human beings.
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. 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.” As the late Tsurumi Kazuko 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.
(Coordinator and Author: Yuki Tanaka Email: email@example.com)