A record number of high school students across Japan have signed a petition addressed to the United Nations calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
High school students in the atomic-bombed city of Nagasaki and elsewhere have been collecting such signatures annually since 2001. The campaign was in response to the 1998 nuclear tests carried out by India and Pakistan.
Students met in Nagasaki on Friday to compile the signatures collected over the past year.
The total came to 214,300, up nearly 90,000 from last year. According to the campaign website, the number includes 8,418 signatures collected in South Korea, Switzerland, New Zealand and the Philippines.
The students handed the signatures to 3 high school peace ambassadors from Nagasaki Prefecture.
One of the ambassadors, Rina Tomita, says she was surprised by the number.
She says it is not easy to ask people to sign a petition, and the record number of signatures is the fruit of hard work by the students.
Another ambassador, Daiki Mizokami, says they will deliver the signatures to the UN and make an appeal to the world for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
The 3 students will join peace ambassadors chosen from elsewhere in Japan and deliver the signatures to the secretariat of the Conference on Disarmament at the UN headquarters in Geneva on August 22nd.