A new English-language journal devoted to nuclear disarmament and edited in Nagasaki made its online debut Dec. 6.

Articles for the Journal for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament appear on the website of the Taylor & Francis Group, a leading publisher of scientific journals.

In addition to a foreward by Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue, the first posting was by Ramesh Thakur, a professor of international relations at Australian National University in Canberra, slamming the Japanese government's failure to join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons approved in July at a U.N. meeting.

The Nagasaki-based journal's articles are edited by the Research Center for Nuclear Weapons Abolition (RECNA) of Nagasaki University.

The journal's inaugural article came just days before this year's Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) in Oslo. ICAN played a key role in the adoption of the nuclear weapons ban treaty.

Fumihiko Yoshida, the RECNA vice director who serves as editor in chief of the journal, said the journal, despite being based in Nagasaki, would not take a purely anti-nuclear stance.

Yoshida, also a former deputy director of The Asahi Shimbun's Editorial Board, did not rule out running an article in support of Japan's refusal to join the nuclear weapons ban treaty.

He said it could happen in the future "because we want to stimulate discussions among individuals with differing views on various issues."

A print version of the journal is scheduled for March with plans for subsequent issues to be published every six months or so.

Yoshida said the issues would have special sections devoted to a single theme, such as a policy of "no first-use" of nuclear weapons and North Korea's nuclear weapons development program.

David Green, the program director for digital resources at Taylor & Francis who also appeared at a Dec. 6 news conference in Tokyo to announce the journal's online debut, said it is the first published by the company to focus on nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament and which is also edited in East Asia.

Noting that academic journals today accept submissions from around the world, Green expressed his hope that the Nagasaki base would "encourage researchers in the Asia-Pacific region to make contributions."

Taylor & Francis, which was founded in London in the late 18th century, publishes about 2,600 journals.

The Journal for Peace and Nuclear Disarmament articles can be accessed at (http://www.tandfonline.com/RPND).