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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 March 18 - 24  > Existence of nuclear weapons does not lessen risk of war
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2015 March 18 - 24 [PEACE]
column 

Existence of nuclear weapons does not lessen risk of war

March 18, 2015
Akahata ‘current’ column

The world came on the verge of a nuclear war during the 1962 Cuban Crisis. At that time, a U.S. military unit in Okinawa received a mistakenly-issued order for a nuclear attack. This was recently revealed by former engineers of the unit.

In the midst of increasing tension between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union, a commander in Okinawa reportedly got an order via radio transmission to launch four nuclear missiles. He, however, suspected an error in transmission and stopped short of launching the missiles after noticing that the four destinations included countries other than the Soviet Union. The order later turned out to be a mistake. What would have happened if the launch button had been pushed? Such a terrifying event could happen again as long as nuclear weapons exist.

One year has passed since Russia annexed Crimea. President Vladimir Putin shocked the world when he said that in the course of the annexation he was ready to use nuclear arms.

Putin, who leads one of the two biggest nuclear powers, considered using nuclear weapons in order to expand Russian territory. This is an act of hegemonism and his attitude not only goes counter to the world trend working for the elimination of nuclear weapons, but also intensifies distrust and tensions among nations.

While Japan’s Prime Minister Abe seemed unfazed by Putin’s remark, most Japanese people were shocked by it as Japan experienced firsthand the horrors of a nuclear attack. The Hiroshima City mayor immediately issued a statement and expressed his anger by saying that Putin’s remark tramples on the dignity of Hibakusha and people of Hiroshima calling for the total abolition of nuclear weapons.

Seventy years after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, joint efforts by peoples to demand a nuclear-free world are spreading. Nuclear powers, including Russia and the U.S., should stop threatening the use of nuclear weapons and start working for the elimination of nuclear weapons.
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