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Japan drops in Hiroshima Report rankings due to refusal to sign nuclear ban treaty

In this file photo, the 72nd Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony is held at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in the city's Naka Ward on Aug. 6, 2017. (Mainichi)

HIROSHIMA -- Japan's rejection of the nuclear weapons ban treaty concluded in 2017 has triggered a precipitous drop in the country's ranking in the latest Hiroshima Report, an annual evaluation of atomic disarmament efforts among 36 nuclear- and non-nuclear-armed states over the previous year.

The sixth edition of the report, released by the Hiroshima Prefectural Government on April 9, bumped Japan from 6th to 12th place among nations without atomic arms. The drop comes after the report writers added the point of whether a country had signed and ratified the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons as an evaluation criterion for the first time.

In total, the evaluators awarded each of the 36 nations points in 65 categories, broken into three broad areas: nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation, and nuclear security.

The nuclear ban treaty was concluded at the United Nations in July last year, but Japan was among the vast majority of nations under the U.S. nuclear umbrella that neither participated in the negotiations nor signed the pact. All these countries saw their point totals fall in the 2018 report.

(Japanese original by Itsuo Tokubo, Hiroshima Bureau)

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