Diet must grill high official's call for reviewing Three Non-Nuclear Principles: JCP

A senior government official's remarks that the Three Non-nuclear Principles (not to possess, manufacture, or allow nuclear weapons into Japan) may be amended have drawn criticism from all over the country.

Commenting on the remarks which the official made on May 31 during his meeting with reporters, Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro on June 1 stated that it is "not even worthy of serious discussion." The prime minister's position is taken as one of endorsing the senior official's remarks.

Ichida Tadayoshi, Japanese Communist Party Secretariat head, used his speech at a rally in Osaka on June 1 to criticize Koizumi's comment, saying:

"I wonder if the statement was really made by a leader of the atom-bombed country. I cannot but express my deep surprise and anger at this argument which was made just when the Diet debates are being focused on the three contingency bills under the scenario of enabling Japan to use force abroad."

Ichida also said, "These statements run counter to the international call for the immediate elimination of nuclear weapons within a set time frame. The JCP is resolved to thoroughly inquire into these statements in the Diet."

Akiba Tadatoshi, Hiroshima City mayor, stated, "The fact that a key person of the government made such a statement aroused burning indignation. It completely ignores the misery of atom-bombed people (Hibakusha) in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and is a total denial of Japan's efforts for the elimination of nuclear weapons."

He said, "Also, these statements trampled on Hiroshima citizens' conviction that such atrocious weapons should never be used again. They conflict with the Constitution's Article 9 and the recommendations by the International Court of Justice ruling out nuclear weapons. In this sense, we can never accept such arguments."

"In view of moves concerning the India-Pakistan situation and the government's contingency bills in the current Diet session, I cannot but conclude that the final goal of the government is to possess nuclear weapons," the Hiroshima mayor added.

Yamaguchi Senji, Japan Confederation of A and H Bombs Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo) chief representative, said:

"I fell victim to the atomic bombing of Nagasaki when I was 14 years old. Sufferings from the after effects still continue. Such statements came from the rightist and militarist nature of the Japanese government which openly began to speak out.

"Koizumi's comment that Fukuda's remarks were 'not even worth serious discussion' makes me feel that U.S. President Bush and Koizumi are contemporary versions of Hitler and Tojo Hideki, the Japanese general who led the war of aggression.

"There is no alternative but to give a final stroke of death to such a government."

Takakusagi Hiroshi, Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo) general secretary, said:

"The statements by Chief Cabinet Secretary Fukuda Yasuo and others are tantamount to an absolutely absurd argument in that they completely ignore world efforts for nuclear elimination and Japan's special role to this effect.

"We must note that these statements are geared to the government scheme to enact the contingency bills, and that the Koizumi Cabinet is taking a decisive step to destroy the Three Non-nuclear Principles and the Constitution.

"We demand that the Koizumi Cabinet retract these statements and stop supporting Bush's policy to use nuclear weapons." (end)