The city of Hiroshima hosted two international conferences in a row last week to discuss efforts to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons — the fourth conference of the Group of Eminent Persons for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the 25th United Nations Conference on Disarmament Issues. These meetings coincided with the 70th anniversary of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well as the founding of the United Nations. But they were held in an atmosphere not necessarily conducive to nuclear disarmament — in the wake of the collapse in May of the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry, a member of the group pushing the CTBT who took part in both conferences, said moves to abolish nuclear weapons have been on the decline and warned against a growing complacency, citing dwindling worldwide concern about a potential nuclear conflict. Given such a situation, it is all the more important for Japan, the sole country to suffer nuclear attacks, and all other nations and civil society to consider what they should do to remove the danger of such a conflict and take concrete steps to abolish nuclear arms.

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