Research Center for Nuclear Weapons Abolition, Nagasaki University (RECNA) Welcomes German Foreign Minister’s Visit to Nagasaki
Research Center for Nuclear Weapons Abolition, Nagasaki University (RECNA)
July 8, 2022
H.E. Ms. Annalena Baerbock, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany, will visit Nagasaki on July 10, the Prefecture and the City of Nagasaki announced. The visit precedes her meeting with Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi in Tokyo. In Nagasaki, her visit to the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum, offering flowers at the Nagasaki National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims, and meeting with a hibakusha, an Atomic Bomb survivor, have been scheduled. As the crisis in Ukraine raises concerns about the use of nuclear weapons, it has become increasingly important to focus attention on such weapons’ inhumanity. As an academic center in the A-bombed city, RECNA sincerely welcomes her visit.
Germany attended the First Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), held in Vienna from June 21 to June 23, as an observer country. Together with the Netherlands, Norway, and Belgium, Germany was one of the few member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which is a self-declared “nuclear alliance,” to participate the meeting as an observer.
In his statement issued at the meeting1, the German ambassador noted the importance of the “humanitarian perspective” and reiterated his country’s commitment to “engaging in constructive dialogue and exploring opportunities for practical cooperation.” He also stressed that “broader attention and engagement” should be given to the issue of “victim assistance and environmental remediation” stipulated in Articles 6 and 7 of the TPNW. As the “Vienna Action Plan” adopted by the States Parties of the TPNW calls for greater dialogue and cooperation with states outside of the treaty, Germany’s positive stance gives hope for new developments in the future. We hope that Germany will be a leader in drawing the nuclear armed states and countries under the nuclear umbrella, including Japan, to “constructive dialogue.”
Germany, together with Japan, as core states of the “Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI)” and the “Stockholm Initiative for Nuclear Disarmament,” have an important role to play in determining the success of the NPT Review Conference to be held from August 1 to August 26. We look forward to further initiatives and actions by Germany to advance nuclear disarmament. Next year, Japan takes over the G7 Presidency and the summit will be held in Hiroshima. We hope that Germany, which holds this year’s Presidency, will strengthen its cooperation with Japan so that the G7 Heads of State and Government can demonstrate their strong will to realize a “world without nuclear weapons” at the Hiroshima summit. As part of this effort, we strongly request that the Meeting of the G7 Foreign Ministers be held in Nagasaki as an opportunity to further expand awareness of the inhumanity of nuclear weapons.