• Kyodo

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The Nagasaki Municipal Assembly on Monday adopted a resolution urging the government to sign and ratify a nuclear weapons-banning U.N. treaty which will enter into force in January.

In the resolution, the assembly of the city that was devastated by an atomic bomb attack late in World War II also asked the central government to attend meetings of the member states of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as an observer and work toward bringing a member state conference to Nagasaki.

The United Nations said in October that Honduras had become the 50th country or region to sign the treaty, reaching the threshold required for it to be ratified and paving the way for it to enter into force Jan. 22.

The pact, which will become the first international agreement outlawing the development, testing, possession and use of nuclear weapons, was adopted in 2017. In the same year, the municipal assembly adopted a similar resolution.

The local assembly’s latest resolution hailed the treaty for making clear the will of humanity that nuclear weapons should be eliminated.

It also asked the government to play a role bridging the divide between nuclear-armed countries and those not possessing the weapons, pointing out that more countries, including nuclear states, must join the treaty for it to be effective.

“Originating from the atomic bomb survivors’ pleas, (recent momentum) has turned into a huge wave,” Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue said after the adoption of the resolution, urging the Diet to actively discuss the treaty.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato as recently as last week reiterated that “Japan shares the goal of this treaty, the abolition of nuclear weapons,” but added “as we differ in how to approach the issue, we will not become a signatory.”

The stance has frustrated the large anti-nuclear segment of the population as well as survivors of the August 1945 U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

While Japan is the only country to have suffered from atomic bombing, it also relies on the protection of the nuclear umbrella provided by the United States.

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