At the International Council of Eminent Persons on the 10th, hibakusha and others will exchange opinions with experts from various countries.

Amidst the growing threat of nuclear weapons over the situation in Ukraine, we asked the hibakusha who attended the meeting on behalf of the Japan Hidankyo = Japan Council of Atomic and Hydrogen Bomb Victims' Organizations, about their thoughts.

Toshiichi Kido, 82, an A-bomb survivor from Nagasaki City, was exposed to the atomic bombing near his home, about 2 kilometers away from the hypocenter, when he was five years old, and suffered severe burns to his face.

It is said that he cannot forget the sight of his hometown, which was turned into a tragedy.

"As we got closer and closer to the hypocenter, there were bodies lying around. I was only five years old, so I didn't understand exactly what had happened, but I strongly felt that something like this shouldn't have happened. Since

then, I have been involved in the hibakusha movement for many years, and since 2017 I have served as the secretary general of the Japan Hidankyo, and have been advocating for the abolition of nuclear weapons at international conferences.

In June this year, Ms. Kido attended the first Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons held in Austria, where she testified about her own experience of being exposed to the atomic bombing. I witnessed the scene.

(Mr. Kido)

“There was a strong feeling throughout the conference that we are moving towards a world without nuclear weapons. I am convinced that we are definitely on the right track.”

However, at the review conference of the NPT = Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty held in New York this summer, Russia opposed the draft of the final document and closed without being adopted.

A further stagnation of global nuclear disarmament efforts has become inevitable.

(Mr. Kido)

"I think that the cause is not only Russia but also the nuclear powers. If you really wanted to enact it, I think you would see more persuasion to Russia, but there is no such evidence at all. I felt that the attitude of the nuclear powers was disingenuous and arrogant."

On the other hand, there were also incidents in the area that made him reaffirm the role of the hibakusha.

Mr. Kido, who spoke about his A-bomb experience at the United Nations Headquarters, is said to have been approached by former Argentinian diplomat Mr. Slaubinen, who served as chairman of the conference.

(Mr. Kido)

"You said, 'It was the first time in my more than 30 years as a diplomat that I heard the stories of atomic bomb survivors, so I changed my mind. I want to do everything in my power to make this NPT Review Conference a success.' I was very grateful and happy to receive this, but at the same time, I realized that our appeals to the international community are still insufficient.” Today, Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine, and the

nuclear The situation surrounding nuclear weapons is becoming increasingly severe, with North Korea showing willingness to use it and advancing its nuclear and missile development.

At the International Council of Eminent Persons held under these circumstances, Mr. Kido appeals to the intellectuals of each country to make the right choice.

"The members of the Council of Wise Men will decide to protect mankind by abolishing nuclear weapons, or will they continue to insist that nuclear weapons will serve as a deterrent to prevent the destruction of mankind? I want to appeal that I am here. I have to have the members of the Council of Sages communicate that they will protect the world from now on.”