Statement Welcoming the Entry into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
Today marks the day of the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (the “TPNW”), after the ratification and accession by fifty states/regions around the world.
As an organization that has been reiterating the need for the elimination of nuclear weapons since the end of World War II, the Japan Federation of Bar Associations (the “JFBA”) wholeheartedly welcomes the TPNW coming into effect.
The JFBA also finds itself full of a renewed respect for all the countries and civil societies that played a major role in driving the negotiation and ratification of the TPNW up until its entry into force. The JFBA’s admiration is also extended to the victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and all those who were affected around the world by nuclear testing and development, for their dedication to advocacy activities.
The TPNW has affirmed, in a treaty as a form of international law, that the use of nuclear weapons brings devastating and catastrophic humanitarian consequences. It also constitutes the first ever treaty that has inscribed in history that, as a first step towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons, the use of nuclear weapons is “contrary to rules of international law” and should be “prohibited.”
The entry into force of the TPNW at this time is a result of the “Humanitarian Approach”, which reaffirms the illegitimacy of the use and development of nuclear weapons and seeks to prohibit them by attributing the advocacy to the horrific humanitarian devastation that has taken place in the past. That the TPNW has come into effect is not the ultimate destination for elimination of nuclear weapons but is simply the starting point towards the future total abolition of nuclear weapons.
From this point onwards, the TPNW provides grounds for the requirement of disclosure of all information related to the actual state of acts prohibited under the treaty. It also gives the rationale for demanding accountability from those who would conduct any act prohibited and held unlawful under the treaty. Even if the act is an “investment” or a “national security strategy” with the object of threatening others, those who undertake this act should be held accountable. Thus, indeed, a new order of international law, i.e., the prohibition of nuclear weapons, has arrived.
The JFBA never forgets that, as Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan arose from the deep remorse for World War II, so has the elimination of nuclear weapons emerged from the remorse that the entire human race should feel in common, namely “the error shall not be repeated.”
The JFBA once again retakes its oath to continue to make every endeavor, together with all people who seek to prohibit unlawful acts, civil societies, and the Government, to bring about “a world free of nuclear weapons”, and welcomes the entry into force of the TPNW.
January 22, 2021
President, Japan Federation of Bar Associations