Members of the Council of Eminent Persons
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to communicate our requests.
As co-organizer of the Liaison Committee on the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons Japan NGO and President of the Association of Japan Lawyers for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (Japan Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Weapons), I would like to make the following request.
As suggested by the Council in 2018: "Stagnation of nuclear disarmament and the collapse of the nuclear order are not in the interests of any country, and the pursuit of a world without nuclear weapons is in the common interest," and "Nuclear deterrence, while it may promote stability, is dangerous to long-term international security, and all states must seek better long-term solutions," I hope to realize a world free of nuclear weapons as soon as possible, and I believe that we need a "better long-term solution" that does not rely on nuclear weapons.
Today, I would like to share some of my thoughts on the necessity of realizing a world free of nuclear weapons and a security policy that does not rely on nuclear weapons.
Speech by Allied Commander MacArthur
On April 5, 1946, Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers Douglas MacArthur delivered the following speech to the Allied Council on Japan:
No thoughtful man will fail to recognize that with the development of modern science another war may blast mankind to perdition — but still we hesitate — still we cannot, despite the yawning abyss at our very feet, unshackle ourselves from the past. Therein lies the childlike faith in the future — a faith that, as in the past, the world can somehow manage to survive yet another universal conflict.
MacArthur warned that nuclear weapons would be used in the next world war and that human society would come to an end. This warning is inherited by international legal norms such as the NPT and TPNW, which state that the use of nuclear weapons will have "devastating consequences for all mankind" or "catastrophic humanitarian consequences." Nevertheless, the danger of the use of nuclear weapons is now higher than it was during the Cold War. This is because, based on the theory of nuclear deterrence, there are nuclear-armed states and dependent states that use nuclear weapons as a trump card for national security.
Breaking with the Nuclear Deterrence Theory
I believe that the theory of nuclear deterrence, which assumes the existence of nuclear weapons and asserts the necessity and usefulness of nuclear weapons for national security, is the culprit that prevents the realization of a "world without nuclear weapons." Do nuclear deterrents boast that they have accumulated "elaborate discussions" about the utility of nuclear weapons, just as empty as any "elaborate discussion" about God does not prove the existence of God. It's just an activity.
The 1980 UN Secretary-General's Report concluded:
“There can be no peace without preventing the danger of nuclear war. If nuclear disarmament is to become a reality, the act of mutual deterrence through the balance of fear must be abandoned. The notion of maintaining peace, stability and balance in the world through a process of deterrence is perhaps the most dangerous collective fallacy that exists.”
I agree with this conclusion. Therefore, in order to realize a world without nuclear weapons, we should abandon the illusion that nuclear deterrence may promote stability.
So, will abolishing nuclear weapons complete our mission? Is there no need to fear its resurrection?
The Russell-Einstein Declaration
The Russell-Einstein Manifesto of 1955 said:
... They hardly understand that they are on the verge of perishing. That is why people are hopeful that if modern weapons are banned, it will be okay to continue the war.
Such expectations are nothing more than an illusion. Even if an agreement had been reached not to use hydrogen bombs in peacetime, ... As soon as war broke out, both sides would start building hydrogen bombs. ... Because the side that manufactured must win.”
I am reading here a warning that even if nuclear weapons are banned, nuclear weapons will be revived like zombies as long as the war continues.
The proclamation reads,
"Will you destroy humanity or renounce war? “
The Declaration not only prohibits "modern weapons" but also calls for the "abolition of war."
War is possible even without nuclear weapons. Such wars continue to this day. The abolition of nuclear weapons and the abolition of war are two different issues. Therefore, it is possible and necessary to put aside the abolition of war and call for the abolition of nuclear weapons. However, as long as we accept the resolution of conflicts in war, we must be prepared for its revival. This is because nuclear weapons are the "ultimate weapon" from the military rationale of winning a war. The Declaration points that out.
Therefore, I would like you to recall the Constitution of Japan State, which renounces not only "modern weapons" but also all wars and all military forces.
Pacifism in the Japan Constitution
Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan is as follows:
Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.
In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized
It renounces all war, renounces all power and the right to belligerence. The background is that in an era when the atomic bomb was invented and used, it would be foolish to resort to war. Civilization and war are incompatible. The idea is that if civilization does not quickly annihilate war, war will annihilate civilization. It is similar to MacArthur's idea introduced at the beginning.
The UN Charter was drawn up on June 26, 1945. At that time, the power of nuclear weapons was not known. The Constitution of Japan was promulgated in November 1946 by those who knew the "realities of the atomic bombings" of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.
The Constitution of Japan states that it will not retain any military power. We, the Japanese people, desire peace for all time and are deeply conscious of the high ideals controlling human relationship, and we have determined to preserve our security and existence, trusting in the justice and faith of the peace-loving peoples of the world.
It is a determination to maintain security and survival without not only nuclear weapons but also any military forces.
Some people ridicule it as utopian ideas. But there are 26 countries in the world without armies. In the first place, nuclear weapons are manufactured by humans, and war is a human activity. It's not a virus. There is no reason why it can't be eliminated.
Because we recognize the inhumanity of the use of nuclear weapons, we call for the abolition of nuclear weapons, not just the prohibition of the use and threat of nuclear weapons. But in order to make abolition irreversible, the system of war, which permits the use of force, must also be abolished. This does not mean that nuclear weapons cannot be eliminated without the elimination of war, but the abolition of war is an issue that must be avoided in order to realize a world without nuclear weapons.
Seventy-six years ago, the Constitution of Japan envisioned that. Please take a deep interest in it. A world free of nuclear weapons and war will provide all mankind with a foundation for survival in peace, free from fear and want, and will usher in a new century in which humanity will fully realize its potential.
We request that the Council of Eminent Persons contribute to the realization of such a society.
December 10, 2022
This is what I wrote in November 2019. Please refer to it.