Nagasaki University is the only university in the world that has inherited a medical college having experienced the atomic bombing. Achieving a “world free from nuclear weapons” is thus a paramount concern to the University. Research Center for Nuclear Weapons Abolition, Nagasaki University (RECNA), located in a city that was attacked by an atomic bomb, is an educational and research institute which is the interdisciplinary center of local academia with a firsthand experience of the horror of nuclear weapons. The objectives of RECNA are as follows:
1) Through academic research and analysis, to redefine the significance of Hiroshima and Nagasaki experiences in the light of the current world trend, and disseminate information and make proposals from various aspects towards abolishing nuclear weapons;
2) Making best use of such a process and outcomes of its research and analysis, to contribute to university education.
RECNA, as a think tank open to the local community longing for nuclear weapons abolition, operates in close cooperation with partners including Nagasaki City and Nagasaki Prefecture.
Message from the Director
The Research Center for Nuclear Weapons Abolition, Nagasaki University (RECNA) was founded on April 1, 2012, the first such organization in Japan to declare nuclear weapons abolition as its program. Since then, the RECNA has achieved a number of results and has experienced steady growth under the leadership of the first Director, Hiromichi Umebayashi, and with your generous support. I have been serving as Vice Director and now in this 70th year since the atomic bombing, it has been decided that I will carry on in Director Umebayashi’s footprints as of April 1, 2015.
My own specialty was nuclear engineering. I was concerned about the connection with nuclear weapons ever since I was a university student, and I made the plutonium issue my life’s work. Therefore. Nagasaki, where a plutonium bomb was dropped, has a very special significance for me. I also participate in the Pugwash Conferences, which call for the abolition of nuclear weapons and war. The world conference will be held in Nagasaki in 2015. I am very keenly aware of that responsibility right now, and I also sense a kind of destiny in being able to work with the people of Nagasaki and researchers from around the globe to aim for a world that is free of nuclear weapons. As someone who engages in research on nuclear problems, I also feel extremely fortunate and grateful to have been given these opportunities.
Looking ahead, I envision the RECNA action policy following the basic course taken to this point. In that light, I am considering three basic policies along the following lines.
The first is to aim to become a group of researchers that disseminates information from Nagasaki to the world. Calmly and composedly analyzing the extremely confused world situation, we will address the topics of frameworks for security that are not dependent on nuclear deterrence, and the relationship between peaceful uses of nuclear energy and nuclear non-proliferation.
The second is to work on building the political and diplomatic process (the “Nagasaki Process”) aimed at the denuclearization of Northeast Asia by becoming a core think tank for that purpose. As we reinforce our role as a think tank with deep local roots, we will strengthen our international collaboration and present feasible policy proposals.
The third is to work on developing human resources with the ability to address the nuclear problem and take up roles in the global community. By means of education in nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, in particular, we will work to train capable people who are not limited by the barriers between humanities and sciences, and between practical activity and research.
As a research center based in Nagasaki, a city devastated by the atomic bomb, the RECNA will pursue these courses to collaborate with the world’s citizens, experts, and decision-makers to develop the specialists who will be leaders for the next generation. In this way we will continue activities aimed at realizing a world that is free of nuclear weapons.
The people of Nagasaki City and of Nagasaki Prefecture have a strong desire that Nagasaki should be the last place where mankind undergoes a nuclear attack. I will never lose sight of this wish. Building on the results we have achieved to date, I will do everything in my power to help the RECNA grow into an international presence. From the bottom of my heart, I ask you for your support and cooperation in realizing these aims.
(April 1, 2015)