TOKYO: Izumi Nakamitsu, UN undersecretary-general and high representative for disarmament affairs, underscored Tuesday the importance of moving forward with nuclear disarmament efforts.
At a news conference held in Tokyo by the Japan National Press Club, Nakamitsu said, “A lesson we’ve learned from the coronarivus pandemic is that havoc could actually be wreaked.” “This is true for the nuclear issue.”
“Although it’s difficult to imagine a nuclear war happening, we should strive to reduce the war risk,” she stressed.
To Japan, which is under the US nuclear umbrella, Nakamitsu called for sending “a message that it shares the goal” of the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty “regardless of whether signing and ratifying (the treaty) or not.”
She noted that the United Nations is highly concerned that the risk of nuclear weapons being used has risen to the highest level since the end of Cold War, referring to some moves to modernize nuclear arms and the expiration last year of the intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty between the United States and Russia.
Later the same day, Nakamitsu met with Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako at the Akasaka Imperial Residence.
During the meeting, she offered the view that the international security environment is worsening, according to officials with access to the meeting.
She also told the Imperial couple that young people in the atomic-bombed cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are spreading stories of hibakusha to all around the world through the internet. In reply, the Emperor said, “That is a great thing.”