New Zealand Embassy Tokyo, Japan
New Zealand Ambassador attends Hiroshima Peace Ceremony
On 6 August New Zealand’s Ambassador to Japan, Mark Sinclair, attended the ceremony at Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park marking the 69th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing along with survivors of the attack, their descendants, peace activists, Prime Minister Abe and other dignitaries.
The torrential rain did not deter a large attendance at the annual ceremony which commemorates the bombing of the city and gives an opportunity to pay respects to those who perished.
The 69th anniversary marks the long period since World War II that Japan has been a peaceful nation. It also provides a timely reminder of the perils of living in a world that has nuclear weapons one year before the review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
New Zealand's credentials and reputation in arms control and disarmament draw on a long history of commitment to promoting the peaceful and just resolution of international conflicts, and of strong support for elements of the multilateral treaty system such as the NPT.
As part of its effort to prevent the use of nuclear weapons, New Zealand last year played a leading role in drafting the Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons which was delivered by New Zealand Ambassador for Disarmament Dell Higgie at the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly on 21 October. The statement, which was signed by 125 nations including Japan, says: “It is in the interest of the very survival of humanity that nuclear weapons are never used again, under any circumstances.”
The issue of how to control the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is at the forefront of international debate. New Zealand takes an active role, with nuclear disarmament at the centre of New Zealand’s disarmament diplomacy, and seeks to ensure that the importance of disarmament continues to be recognised, along with initiatives toward preventing nuclear proliferation.
More information on New Zealand’s nuclear disarmament diplomacy can be found at this website.