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Dispatches from Nagasaki No.24

The U.S.-North Korea Summit and Joint Statement – Responses from Nagasaki

On June 12, 2018, President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea met at Singapore for the first summit meeting ever held between those two countries. They afterwards issued a joint statement, best summarized as: “President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

What were the responses to this joint statement in Nagasaki? Presented below are excerpts from broadcasts or articles from assorted Japanese media sources.

Nagasaki City Mayor Tomihisa Taue spoke highly of the joint statement and expressed his hopes for the future. “This meeting between top-level leaders is progress and, I think, could be considered a start on the road to denuclearization. We will of course have to watch what happens from here. I want the U.S. and North Korean officials to continue with such meetings and make denuclearization a reality.” (NHK News Nagasaki: 19:49, 12 June 2018)

Takeshi Yamakawa (81), a Nagasaki hibakusha and representative of the Nagasaki Citizens Association for Protesting U.S. Nuclear Testing, praised the joint statement, saying “this summit marks a historic first step.” In August 1974, concerned citizens first began holdings “sit-ins” to express their opposition to nuclear weapons development; and, over the 44 years from that date, there have been a total of 402 sit-ins. Mr. Yamakawa talks of his hopes for the future: “We don’t want to have a 403rd sit-in. I’m just glad that the two leaders reached a basic agreement. I certainly hope the U.S.-North Korean relations don’t revert to the animosity of days past.” (The Mainichi Shimbun, Nagasaki edition, 13 June 2018)

Dr. Masao Tomonaga (75), former director of the Japanese Red Cross Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Hospital, is another hibakusha. “It’s not as if everything will get resolved with just one meeting. There are other issues, too, such as the North Korean abductions of Japanese nationals and verification [of compliance with any denuclearization agreement]. But still, I do think highly that those leaders have charted a course toward denuclearization. Japan is under the U.S. nuclear umbrella and thus, from the point of view of North Korea, part of the threat. Here, it is important for Japan to play its part by, for instance, convincing the United States to agree to a ban on any first use of nuclear weapons.” (The Mainichi Shimbun, Nagasaki edition, 13 June 2018)

Mr. Koichi Kawano (78), who was born in Korea during the war, was in Nagasaki at the time of the atomic bombing there. “I have long concerned about my birthplace and I want people to live in peace there as well.” For many years, Mr. Kawano has served as Chairman of the Japan Congress against A- and H-Bombs (Gensuikin). In 2007, he had an opportunity to return to the land of his birth in conjunction with a survey of hibakusha then living in North Korea. There, Mr. Kawano was repeatedly told by authorities that “there is an even bigger issue between Japan and North Korea.” From this experience, he says: “Throughout the 73 years of the postwar era, Japan has never taken responsibility for its aggression. Instead, we have just abandoned the North Korean people and left things at that. We must regain our awareness of what happened. Denuclearization and a formal end to the Korean War would take us to the point where we could start discussing economic assistance for North Korea.” Mr. Kawano adds: “We should not offer assistance to North Korea because the U.S. told us to, we should do so spontaneously, under our own initiative.” As for the Joint Statement, he expresses dissatisfaction: “It does not clarify where and how many nuclear weapons are possessed by North Korea, nor does it describe a concrete process for denuclearization. I was hoping for something more substantial; what we did get is not enough.” (Nagasaki Shimbun, 13 June 2018)

Mr. Terumi Tanaka (86), a hibakusha who resides in Saitama Prefecture, serves as Co-Chairperson of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Associations (Nihon Hidankyo). “I do think well of their agreement to completely denuclearize North Korea. From here, I will be watching the degree of openness on the part of North Korea as they move to discard nuclear weapons.” (Nagasaki Shimbun, 13 June 2018)

As above, the U.S.-North Korea Summit and resulting Joint Statement were generally well received in Nagasaki. This said, in addition to anticipation for the future, some commentators also expressed disappointment with the results, pointing to a lack of completeness or specificity. The people of Nagasaki will be closely watching the progress, or otherwise, of further negotiations.

 

米朝首脳会談と共同声明に対する長崎の反応

2018年6月12日、ドナルド・トランプ米国大統領とキム・ジョンウン(金正恩)朝鮮労働党委員長が6月12日、初の米朝首脳会談をシンガポールで開き、会談後、北朝鮮の体制保証と朝鮮半島の完全な非核化を目指すことを確認した。

この共同声明に対する、被爆地長崎の反応はどうだっただろうか。

まず、長崎市長は「トップ同士の会談が実現したことは前進であり、非核化に向けたスタートだと位置づけられると思う。今後の推移を見守る必要があるが、会談をこれから続けていって、非核化を実現してもらいたい」と、共同声明を評価し、今後への期待を述べた(NHKニュース長崎、2018年6月12日19:49)

長崎市の被爆者で「核実験に抗議する長崎市民の会」代表の山川剛さん(81)は「初めての会談が実現して、歴史的な一歩を踏み出した」と、共同声明を評価したうえで、1974年8月から始まった座り込みが、昨年までに44年間で402回を数えたことに対し、「403回目の座り込みはしたくない。大枠で合意したことだけでもよかった。米朝の関係が険悪な関係に戻らないことを願う」とやはり今後への期待をのべた。(毎日新聞、2018年6月13日、長崎版)

同じく被爆者で、日本赤十字社長崎原爆病院の朝長万左男名誉院長(75)は、「1度の会談で全てが解決するわけはない。拉致問題や(非核化の)検証など各論で課題はあるが、総論として非核化への道筋を作ったという点で評価できる。米国の核の傘の下で北朝鮮に対する脅威の一端を担う日本が、核兵器の先制使用の禁止を米国に取り付けるなど、被爆国の役割を果たしていくことが大切だ」と述べた。(毎日新聞、2018年6月13日、長崎版)

長崎の被爆者でありながら、戦時中朝鮮半島で生まれて、長崎に引き上げて被爆した川野浩一さん(78)は、「生まれ故郷」に平和が訪れてほしい、とずっと気にかかっていたという。原水爆禁止日本国民会議(原水禁)議長などを務めた川野さんは2007年に初めて訪朝し、北朝鮮在住の被爆者について調査したが、北朝鮮当局者からは「もっと大きな問題が日本との間にはある」と言われたという。その体験を踏まえ、「戦後73年間、日本は加害の責任をとらず、北朝鮮の人々を放置してきた。それをもう一度自覚しなければ(いけない)。非核化と朝鮮戦争終結が実現すれば、北朝鮮への経済支援へと話が進むだろう。『米国から言われたから支援する』ではなく、(日本は)主体的に取り組むべきだ」と述べている。また、今回の共同声明については、「北朝鮮がどこにどれだけ核兵器を持っているかは明らかにならず、非核化の具体的なプロセスも決まらなかった。もっと踏み込んだ内容になると期待していたが、物足りない」と不満を訴えた。
(長崎新聞、2018年6月13日)

長崎で被ばくして、現在埼玉在住の日本原水爆被害者団体協議会(日本被団協)の代表委員、田中照巳さん(86)は、「完全非核化の合意に至り、評価できる。今後、北朝鮮がどれくらいオープンにして核廃棄を実行するのか注視したい」とのべた。(長崎新聞、2018年6月13日)

以上のように、全般的に、今回の首脳会談・共同声明には好意的な反応が多かったが、今後への期待が示すように、今回の内容には物足りないとの意見もあった。今後の交渉の行方を長崎は注目している。

 

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