On October 4, 2021, Kishida Fumio Kishida was appointed the 100th Prime Minister of Japan. In response, Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), and Setsuko Thurlow, atomic bomb survivor from Hiroshima, sent letters to Mr Kishida.
As a representative of Hiroshima, the city which experienced the atomic bombing, both letters urge the new Prime Minister to appeal to the world about the inhumane nature of nuclear weapons and to demonstrate real leadership for their abolition. As stated by Setsuko in the letter, "Mr Kishida Fumio, if it is indeed true that your life's work is to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons, then now is the time to act on it."
In March 2022, the first Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPWN) will be held in Vienna. Both Beatrice and Setsuko urged Prime Minister Kishida to attend the conference, and expressed their hope to meet him there. Both letters, dated 4 October, were sent by email and post and can be viewed here:
As an International Steering Group member of ICAN, Peace Boat will continue to work with Ms Fihn, Ms Thurlow and all of our partners around the world to call for a strong nuclear disarmament policy from the new Japanese government.
Prime Minister Kishida (then LDP Policy Research Council Chair) with Setsuko Thurlow and Peace Boat's Kawasaki Akira (right), during their 2018 meeting in Tokyo.