Overview by Kenichi Okubo, Secretary-General, Japan Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms - April 2016

This is the report from JALANA to the IALANA General Assembly, to be held in Lausanne, Switzerland on April 16 and 17, 2016.

It comprises the following papers:

1. Report on JALANA’s Recent Activities (Yaeka Inoue, JALANA Secretariat) - pdf  No.1

This is the JALANA activity report from April 2015 to the present. It describes JALANA’s involvement in the NPT Review Conference, the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, Discussion Meeting on the RMI’s Nuclear Zero Lawsuits, the World Nuclear Victims Forum, the Nationwide Research and Exchange Conference in Fukushima on Nuclear Power and Human Rights, and more.

2. Breakout Session: “Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Energy” Opening Remarks and Proposing the Issue (Takeya Sasaki, Lawyer) - pdf No.2

This report is the speech delivered by JALANA President Takeya Sasaki in the “Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Energy” session of the Nationwide Research and Exchange Conference in Fukushima on Nuclear Power and Human Rights held this March 19 and 20 in Fukushima. Since the Fukushima nuclear accident on March 11, 2011, people including lawyers’ organizations, academics, journalists, and citizen activists have held meetings around Japan on the themes of how they can work together to obtain relief for accident victims, and how to phase out nuclear power. This year’s conference is the third. As one of the constituent organizations since the outset, JALANA has taken a stance that opposes the use of fission energy for weapons as well as its “peaceful use.” This speech also deals with North Korea’s recent nuclear testing.

3. Nuclear Deterrence Brings About Nuclear Proliferation (Kenichi Okubo, Lawyer) - pdf No.3

This report argues that because North Korea’s persistent development of nuclear weapons is based on the “doctrine of nuclear deterrence” as in other nuclear weapons states, all countries must renounce the nuclear deterrence doctrine in order to make North Korea give up possession of nuclear weapons. The report points out that nuclear deterrence not only takes us farther from abandoning nuclear weapons, but also invites nuclear proliferation.

4. Approaches to Nuclear Disarmament and the Marshall Islands Cases (Toshinori Yamada, LL.M., Lecturer in International Law at Meiji University) - pdf No.4

This report argues that the Marshall Islands government’s “Nuclear Zero Lawsuits” perhaps offer a way to resolve the clash between various approaches to nuclear disarmament. It also asserts that if these lawsuits enter the merits phase, they might well provide guidelines of some utility for nuclear disarmament negotiations. Although we do not yet know how the ICJ will deal with this issue, it is hoped that this will be an opportunity to totally rethink the character of the international community and its dependence on nuclear weapons.


5. Big Challenge of Nuclear Zero Lawsuits from Tiny Islands (Seiichiro Takemine, Ph.D., Associate Professor at Meisei University)  - pdf No.5

Using the lawsuits filed in the International Court of Justice by the Marshall Islands as a springboard, and with the existence of global Hibakusha taken into consideration, this report is a proposal for seeking a promise that no one will ever be harmed by nuclear weapons happen again.


6. An Initiative to Legislate the Three Non-Nuclear Principles (Kazue Mori, Lawyer) - pdf No.6

This report concerns the initiatives directed at legislating the “three non-nuclear principles,” which are held to be Japan’s national policy. These are the political principles stating that Japan will not make nuclear weapons, possess them, or allow their entry into Japan. However, Japan’s leadership is disinclined to make these political principles into a legal norm. The Japan Federation of Bar Associations (a national organization with which lawyers must register in order to practice) is considering and making preparations for the legislation of an “Anti-Nuclear Weapons Law.” This report describes the current status of those efforts.


7. How to Face the People Living in Radiation-Contaminated Areas, From the Viewpoint of Peace Studies (Atsuko Shigihara, Environment and Peace Study Group) - pdf No.7

This report’s keynote is the seriousness of the continuing damage from the Fukushima nuclear accident. Victims still suffer anxiety toward their future livelihoods and survival in relation to matters such as anxiety about health damage, decisions about whether to return to their homes or relocate, deep divisions among residents of disaster-stricken areas, and the discontinuance of support. The report questions a mode of social development and an international order which force life-threatening sacrifices on people in not only Japan, but around the world.


8. Social Structure Reform Aimed at Abolishing Nuclear Weapons (Yuko Takabe, Doctoral Program Graduate Student) -pdf No.8

This is a report on the “right to peace,” which has been under discussion by the UN Human Rights Council since 2008. Attempts to create a legal system to directly restrict nuclear weapons would be difficult without consent from nuclear weapons states, but this report poses the question of whether it would be possible to take an approach based on human rights law, creating a legal system which would recognize the right of the individual to live in a world without weapons of mass destruction, and the right to petition for the abolition of nuclear weapons.




09. Fujiwara report on the No More Hibakusha Lawsuits -  pdf No.9

10. Declaration of the World Nuclear Victims Forum in Hiroshima - pdf No.10

11. Statement in Support of the Marshall Islands’ Cases against Nuclear Weapons States in the International Court of Justice  - pdf No.11

12. Letter to the former RMI Foreign Minister Tony de Brum  - pdf No.12

13. Matsui paper: “The Historical Significance of the Shimoda Case Judgment, in View of the Evolution of International Humanitarian Law”   - pdf No.13


The Japan Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (JALANA) has previously submitted reports to IALANA General Assemblies (San José, Costa Rica and Szczecin, Poland), NPT Review Conferences, and at other opportunities. Likewise on this occasion JALANA offers a number of reports. We hope that these reports will facilitate a meaningful exchange of opinions with our friends around the world.