Hibakusha tour in US

The Francis Underhill Macy Hibakusha Initiative is a month-long educational opportunity for New York City school children to hear eyewitness accounts of one of the most significant events in human history— the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of 1945. The survivors are called Hibakusha.

Sponsored by Youth Arts New York in partnership with Peace Boat and Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, this program coincides with the Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty at the United Nations in May of 2010. Activities will include:

School visits
A Young Playwrights Initiative
Play readings at New York Theatre Workshop
Cherry Blossom Viewing and Tree Planting
Concert and Reception at the UN
Music In Manhattan: Café Concert for Peace
Further reading.

Note on May 8th: Please also read this article about the visit of the 38 person delegation representing the Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs (Gensuikyo). The delegation consisted of Japanese citizens from many cities, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki to the Pacific North West and to the Nevada Test Site.


United States Discloses Size of Nuclear Weapons Stockpile

The Obama administration has formally disclosed the size of the Defense Department’s stockpile of nuclear weapons: 5,113 warheads as of September 30, 2009.

For a national secret, we’re pleased that the stockpile number is only 87 warheads off the estimate we made in February 2009. By now, the stockpile is probably down to just above 5,000 warheads.

The disclosure is a monumental step toward greater nuclear transparency that breaks with outdated Cold War nuclear secrecy and will put significant pressure on other nuclear weapon states to reciprocate.

The stockpile disclosure, along with the rapid reduction of operational deployed warheads disclosed yesterday, the Obama administration is significantly strengthening the U.S. position at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference.

Progress toward deep nuclear cuts and eventual nuclear disarmament would have been very difficult without disclosing the inventory of nuclear weapons.
Further reading.

Meanwhile, in France

In Mont de Marsan, in Les Landes-area, around sixty activists undertook a citizen’s inspection of the air base, part of the Special Munitions Depots, where the French nuclear bombs are being kept. Thirteen people suceeded in entering the base. All were arrested and interrogated by the gendarmerie, and released. Some arrests were performed violently.

In Brest some demonstrators were present in front of the Navy Prefecture, seat of the Navy Nuclear Force while the night before, as every first Friday of the month, the group “Sober and Vigilant” kept watch in front of the Operational Command of Nuclear Forces in Paris.

Meanwhile, in Belgium – 2

Around a thousand people braved the cold rain in Kleine Brogel, Belgium, to demand the closure of the nuclear missile site in the name of international law, and have it turned into a nature area. Hundreds of them actually succeeded in entering the ground, despite a heavy presence of military guards and police. All of these were arrested and were still being interrogated at the time of writing. More later…