Dear Friends,

The year 2000 marks the 55th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It is also the 25th anniversary of the nuclear-free "Kobe Formula" which bans all nuclear-armed warships from entering the Port of Kobe.

As you may already know, the Port of Kobe insists that all warships entering the port produce a certificate stating that they are not carrying nuclear weapons. Because of U.S. policy not to confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons on board their ships, they have been denied entry for the past 25 years. Prior to the nuclear-free Kobe Formula, US warships entered the port 432 times between 1960 and 1974.

However, the new "Guidelines" for Japan-U.S. military co-operation, which the Japanese government has accepted, will mobilize not only the Japanese Self Defense Forces but also local municipalities, civil companies and ordinary Japanese citizens. This makes us especially aware of the possibility of being involved in any U.S. instigated war and concerns that Japan's civil sea ports being used exclusively by U.S. forces. Both the Japanese and U.S. governments are applying more pressure on local government to abandon the Kobe Formula nuclear-free policy. The U.S., in particular, finds it a major obstacle for future planning. Recent remarks by Thomas Foley, U.S. Ambassador to Japan, and the U.S. Consul General to Osaka/Kobe, have shown clearly that they want U.S. Navy vessels to call at the Port of Kobe while they are in office.

We are resisting any attempt to undermine the peace principal of the Japanese Constitution, which has been adopted as a model for the world to follow at the International Citizens' Peace Conference at the Hague. The conference called on parliaments of all the nations to adopt a no-war resolution using the Japanese Constitution's Article 9 as a model.

We are also fighting to have U.S. bases removed from Japan, and are making the utmost efforts to keep the nuclear-free Kobe Formula and to have it spread all over Japan. We are fighting, too, to prevent Japan ever starting any wars again.

It is the support and solidarity from the peace-loving people of the world that has always encouraged us. It would be a great encouragement if you and other people working for peace to send us messages of solidarity to the 25th anniversary meeting to be held on the 18th of March, 2000. Messages from elected officials from your local state, government and local government etc. would be most welcome. We would be grateful if messages could be received before the end of February, 2000.

We will continue to work with you to raise world opinion for a nuclear-free world and to conclude an international treaty for a total ban and elimination of nuclear weapons.

With solidarity and our deep respect to all for your efforts for peace,

Shushi Kajimoto
(General Secretary)
Chamoto bldg. 6-7-6 Motomachi-dori, Chuo-ku Kobe 655-0022 Japan
Tel. +81-78-341-2818 Fax. +81-78-371-2427 Email:
27 Dec. 1999

1994 Japan Report on Kobe