Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, made a very impressive Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in Oslo on Dec. 10. She emphasized that we have to choose one of two fates: “The end is inevitable. But will that end be the end of nuclear weapons or the end of us? We must choose one.”

She also stressed the importance and necessity of efforts by citizens.

Following her speech, Setsuko Thurlow, a Hiroshima atomic bomb survivor, shared her thoughts and experience: “humanity and nuclear weapons cannot coexist. … Each person had a name. Each person was loved by someone … they were bleeding, burned, blackened and swollen. Parts of their bodies were missing. Flesh and skin hung from their bones. Some with their eyeballs hanging in their hands. Some with their bellies burst open, their intestines hanging out. …”

Ms. Beatrice Fihn came to Japan on Jan. 12 and visited Nagasaki and Hiroshima for the first time. I imagine that all the atomic bomb victims in both cities welcomed her and are grateful for her work. I also believe that Diet members from both the ruling and opposition parties understand the significance of ICAN winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

Do we find any animals killing each other the way we humans do? If we continue to be the same animal, humankind will face our end sooner or later.

The Doomsday Clock is set at two minutes to midnight (global catastrophe). This is the closest to midnight it has been since 1953, when both the U.S. and Soviet Union tested hydrogen bombs.

I sincerely pray that every country of the world will understand and join the ICAN movement, since the fate of planet Earth is at stake.

Our future is in our hands. We must be wise and strong enough to choose a peaceful path, before it is too late.


The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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