Japan NGO Celebrates Cluster Bomb Treaty

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Tokyo -- A celebration was held at a Buddhist temple in central Tokyo this afternoon on the occasion of the effectuation of the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

The event was organized by the NGO called the Japan Campaign to Ban Landmines (JCBL) and was entitled, "Beat the Drum to Ban Cluster Bombs."

Several taiko drumming groups performed separately, and then together, in front of an enthusiastic audience of a couple hundred supporters.

A delegate from the Japan Foreign Ministry also offered encouraging comments at the reception that followed the taiko performance.

Japan concluded the Convention in July of last year.

Junko Utsumi, Secretary-General of the JCBL, told PanOrient News, "Today is an important day because an advance has been made in turning cluster munitions into weapons that cannot be used, but there's still a lot of work to be done, and we will make a fresh start from today."

An attendee to the event added, "I want them to persevere because I think it's a great thing that they are bringing an awareness of the problem of cluster bombs to the general population."

Cluster bombs are considered by many to be a particularly abhorrent weapon because most of its victims by far turn out to be civilians, especially children.

The Convention on Cluster Munitions has so far been adopted by 108 states, of which 38 have ratified it. However, major military powers including the United States, Russia, and China are not signatories to the treaty.

The US Department of Defense vocally defends cluster bombs as "legitimate weapons with clear military utility" and argues, contrary to the opinion of most of the rest of the world, that they "result in less collateral damage" than many other weapon systems.

PanOrient News

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