As the 78th anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki approach, Japan's ability to deliver on its vision of achieving a world free of nuclear weapons is being questioned.

The Preparatory Committee for the 2026 review conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) kicked off its first round of negotiations in Vienna on Monday, the first of three gatherings. The NPT is an agreement intended to promote nuclear nonproliferation and the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Deputy Foreign Minister Shunsuke Takei attended the initial sessions of the meeting as a representative of Japan, accompanied by the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and a group of hibakusha. The two cities were bombed on Aug. 6 and Aug. 9, 1945, respectively.