U.N. Conference on disarmament meeting starts in Hiroshima

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HIROSHIMA (Jiji Press) — The U.N. Conference on Disarmament Issues kicked off in Hiroshima on Wednesday.

Participants in the U.N. Conference on Disarmament Issues are seen behind a model of the Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima on Wednesday morning.

About 60 participants, including senior government officials and experts on nuclear disarmament, from at least 10 countries, including nuclear powers, are expected to discuss measures to realize a nuclear-free world in the two-day meeting.They are slated to lay flowers on Wednesday afternoon at the cenotaph in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park for the victims of the August 1945 U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima in the final days of World War II.U.N. Undersecretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu said in the opening session that related countries must call for denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula in view of North Korea’s nuclear and missile development programs.In a panel discussion, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui criticized North Korea, which fired what is believed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan in the early hours of Wednesday.The missile launch “heightened world tensions and betrayed people praying for permanent peace,” Matsui said, adding that the provocative act made him feel as though the world had “returned to the Cold War period.”Sunao Tsuboi, the 92-year-old leader of an organization of survivors of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, related his experience of the bomb.“My dearest wish is to abolish nuclear weapons,” Tsuboi said. “The wisdom of mankind must be the wisdom to eliminate war.