Sunday, August 5, 2012

Hiroshima Day- ICAN booklet on catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons

Nagasaki bomb victim Sumiteru Taniguchi looks at a photo of himself taken in 1945.
(Source: ICAN Hiroshima Day booklet)

"As a 16-year-old boy, I was riding my bicycle down the street when the atomic bomb exploded 1.8 km away, scorching my back and leaving the skin on my right arm hanging down from the shoulder to the fingertips."

After 17 excruciating operations and a lifetime of struggle, Sumiteru Taniguchi, 67 year since the bombing of Hiroshima, still fights pro-actively to make sure no one has to suffer what he experienced in Hiroshima ever again.

In remembrance of Hiroshima Day and all of the past and potential future victims of the nuclear industry, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) has launched a booklet for free digital distribution on the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons. Download here:
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a movement of non-government organizations in 60 countries advocating such a treaty, believes that discussions about nuclear weapons must focus not on narrow concepts of national security, but on the effects of these weapons on human beings – our health, our societies, and the environment on which we all depend.
ICAN notes that the same humanitarian discourse was used successfully in banning landmines and cluster munitions. While sharing the stories of anti-nuclear advocates and the survivors of nuclear bombing, testing, and mining the booklet provides pertinent information on:
  • the known existing nuclear arsenals in the world
  • immediate- and long- term effects of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
  • the devastation that would arise should regional nuclear war break out
  • the consequences of nuclear testing
  • the impact of mining on marginalized communities
  • the massive diversion of public resources for the production of nuclear materials and technology
  • currently standing international bans on weapons of mass destruction
  • ICAN recommendations on how WE CAN act
With nuclear weapons and nuclear-based technology (including nuclear reactors) still proliferating no one is safe should disaster arise. Just recently, Japan's former Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba's statement about the use of Japan's nuclear reactors as a deterrent was made public: "Having nuclear plants shows to other nations that Japan can make nuclear weapons."

In Nov. 22, 2011 Ishiba stressed that Japan isn’t about to make nuclear weapons. But, he said, with nearby North Korea suspected of working on them, Japan needs to assert itself and say it can also make them - but is choosing not to.
(AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)
Unless we have a paradigm shift now, we will continue to be used by governments and industry as test mice of this obsolete nuclear deterrent ideology, living in a house of cards on a slanted table.

This booklet serves as a heart-wrenching reminder of the tragedies of the nuclear industry and the political stranglehold the industry maintains despite the enormous destruction it causes. It is a useful resource for anyone just learning about the consequences of nuclear weapons or fighting to make the shift to a nuclear-free world a reality.

Learn more about how you can abolish nuclear weapons:

ICAN homepage:
ICAN Facebook:
- posted by Jen Teeter

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