Global Hibakusha Forum Statement for a Nuclear-Free World
We Global Hibakusha from Japan, Australia and Tahiti came together on Peace Boat from 23 January – 5 February 2011 to share testimony, information and our vision for a nuclear-free future. We have reached consensus on the statement below and will continue to exchange to realise our goals by increasing cooperation and networking.
Hibakusha is the name given to those who survived the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 66 years ago with nuclear weapons which are indiscriminate. There are now 2nd and 3rd generation Hibakusha and overseas Hibakusha, who were exposed to the atomic bomb and later moved to another country. They suffer the inter-generational genetic affects of their parent’s and grandparent’s exposure to ionising radiation. They demand recognition that does not discriminate based on nationality and their country of residence.
Hibakusha have suffered discrimination, and yet they have courageously re-lived the events of 6 August and 9 August 1945 to teach about why horrific and cruel nuclear weapons must never be used again. We celebrate the endurance, strength and determination of Hibakusha and encourage and remember their testimony. We join their call for genuine peace education in our schools. We join their call for the total abolition of nuclear weapons through a Nuclear Weapons Convention to rid the world of these weapons that have been described as “weapons of terror” by the Blix Commission on Weapons of Mass Destruction.
We define the term “Global Hibakusha” to mean all victims of radiation at each link in the nuclear chain – uranium mining, nuclear reactors, nuclear accidents, nuclear weapons development and testing, and nuclear waste. We recognise that Indigenous people have suffered radioactive racism through being targeted for uranium mining, nuclear testing and nuclear waste dumping. This has contaminated their land, water, culture, economies and health.
Ionizing radiation is a toxic poison that damages our DNA – the genetic material in living cells. The nuclear age has introduced radiation in forms that can become airborne and breathed in, or find their way into the water table and gene pool, entirely unlike naturally occurring background radiation. Nuclear testing scattered radiation poison across land and water and continues to be a present danger, which in Polynesia still threatens the collapse of atolls around Moruroa and Fangataufa. Nuclear reactors routinely release radiation. Nuclear waste stockpiles are growing daily, and include tonnes of plutonium which will remain toxic for 250,000 years.
Each link in the nuclear fuel chain releases radiation – beginning with drilling for uranium. To protect future generations and prevent future Hibakusha we must stop creating more radiation, and phase out all sources. We must invest in renewable clean energy for a sustainable future.
Instead of truthful data about radiation, we have received official government denial, self-serving control of information and refusal to redress the shameful wrongs. Governments must make the archives of information about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, about Fangataufa and Moruroa, and about Maralinga transparent, accepting responsibility for the damages and injuries caused. Resolving the effects of nuclear activity and the nuclear threat is a matter of our survival. We cannot contain nuclear dangers, contain environmental damage or support the sick and dying without truthful information.
We Global Hibakusha desperately request
– That governments immediately commence negotiations on a Nuclear Weapons Convention, with a goal of presenting their final treaty to the 2015 NPT Review Conference and completing the disarmament processes by 2020.
– That governments address climate change by investing in clean and renewable energy sources.
– That all civil society groups, NGOs, media, youth and religious organisations redouble their efforts towards a nuclear-free world.
– That responsible governments officially apologise for their nuclear crimes.
– That governments disclose all medical and environmental records on radiation exposure.
– Peace education, including the truth about the nuclear age, be part of official school curricula.
– Proper compensation and proper subsidised medical treatment for all Global Hibakusha.
– Court cases made by Global Hibakusha for truth, justice, recognition, compensation, environmental clean up and health treatment require support from civil society and sincere response from governments.
– Governments should develop public contingency and evacuation plans for populations potentially affected by nuclear accidents and incidents.
– Retaining of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution which renounces war and inclusion and implementation of similar clauses in all constitutions.
– The conversion of the 1.5 trillion global military budget to health and education programmes and measures that address our real security challenges such as climate change and poverty.
No More Hibakushas! No More Global Hibakushas!
No More Hiroshima! No More Nagasaki! No More War!
Adopted 5 February 2011 on Peace Boat