JAPAN A-BOMB SURVIVORS URGE BIDEN TO JOIN UN NUKE BAN TREATY
Atomic bomb survivors urged the administration of newly inaugurated US President Joe Biden to join a UN treaty banning nuclear weapons that will take effect the following day, Kyodo News reported.
"We earnestly call for (US) participation in the treaty," said Michiko Kodama, 82, assistant secretary general of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations at a Tokyo press conference.
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which was adopted in 2017, is the first international pact outlawing the development, testing, possession and use of nuclear weapons, will enter into force Friday after 50 countries ratified it.
However, nuclear weapon states, such as the United States, Russia and China, are not part of it.
Kodama said she wants Biden to remember World War II and keep alive the memory those who perished in Hiroshima and Nagasaki just as he grieved the victims of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus.
The mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki also asked in a joint letter to Biden if he would visit the two cities and take part in a meeting of the parties to the nuclear ban treaty, local officials said.
In August, Biden, who was vice president under Barack Obama, said he will strive for a world without nuclear weapons and criticized his Republican predecessor Donald Trump for undermining past efforts to curb the dangers of such arsenals.
"I will work to bring us closer to a world without nuclear weapons, so that the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are never repeated," Biden said in a statement released on the 75th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, western Japan.
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