Photo/IllutrationAtomic bomb survivor Setsuko Thurlow, now a leading member of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), meets with Fumio Kishida, policy chief of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward on Dec. 5. (Jin Nishioka)

Prominent hibakusha and anti-nuclear activist Setsuko Thurlow is visiting Tokyo to urge the government to reconsider its opposition to signing the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

She met with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s policy chief, Fumio Kishida, at the LDP’s headquarters on Dec. 5.

Thurlow, who is based in Canada and a survivor of the Aug. 6, 1945, atomic bombing of Hiroshima, had also hoped to meet Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Foreign Minister Taro Kono, but was unable to.

The 86-year-old Thurlow is a key member of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017.

As foreign minister, Kishida wanted Japan to participate in negotiations for the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons but gave up because it conflicted with government policy.

An official who also attended the meeting with Thurlow quoted Kishida as telling her he is open to criticism for having failed to get Japan involved in the treaty talks.

According to another official, when Thurlow asked him to join in the treaty, Kishida replied that “the goal of the treaty to abolish nuclear weapons and the goal of the Japanese government is the same.”

But, he qualified that remark by saying the Japanese government has to aim for a “realistic” policy based on the fact that it relies on the U.S. nuclear umbrella for its overall security.