Germany and Japan are regarded as opponents of nuclear armament and were among the first signatories of the NPT. However, the two countries have not yet adopted a clear position with regard to the Humanitarian Initiative, and both continue to rely on the nuclear umbrella of the United States. Against this background the panelists will discuss, among other things, whether the nuclear weapons policies of Germany and Japan will change under the influence of the Humanitarian Initiative, possible reasons for the hesitation of both countries to join the Initiative, and what this indicates about the attitudes of the two countries toward nuclear weapons.
In three international conferences, the supporter states of the Humanitarian Initiative identified humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons and determined that in the event of a nuclear detonation no adequate assistance would be possible and that the consequences would affect all the countries. Furthermore, according to the Humanitarian Initiative, in the face of these humanitarian impacts, a new diplomatic process is needed to negotiate a legally binding instrument that would establish an international norm banning nuclear weapons. In addition, nuclear weapons are still not explicitly prohibited, which is why the members of the Humanitarian Initiative have committed themselves to closing this gap in cooperation with all the relevant stakeholders.