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HOME  > Past issues  > 2010 August 4 - 10  > PM Kan in Hiroshima: Nuclear deterrence is necessity
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2010 August 4 - 10 TOP3 [ANTI-N-ARMS]

PM Kan in Hiroshima: Nuclear deterrence is necessity

August 7-8, 2010
Hiroshima City Mayor Akiba Tadatoshi, in the Peace Declaration he read out at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial ceremony on August 6, demanded that the government “abandon holding to the U.S. nuclear umbrella.” However, Prime Minister Kan Naoto’s reply was that “nuclear deterrence is a necessity,” and anger at this statement is increasing among many Hiroshima citizens including the Hibakusha (A-bomb victims).

Prime Minister Kan, who held a news conference after the peace memorial ceremony said, “The reality is that nuclear arms and other weapons of mass destruction are spreading, so I think that nuclear deterrence continues to be necessary for our nation.”

Tsuboi Sunao, a co-chair of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-bomb Sufferers Organizations (Hidankyo), said:

“The Hibakusha can not accept his statement. It is like he said that having nuclear weapons is better than not having them and should thus be maintained on the day Hiroshima citizens are gathered to eliminate nuclear weapons. We must not leave a single nuclear weapon behind. We want all nuclear weapons eliminated from this planet. This is what people of Hiroshima and people throughout Japan aspire for. The prime minister’s speech is diametrically opposed to our intent and is therefore unacceptable.

To begin with, what was his visit to Hiroshima for? In his speech at the peace memorial ceremony, he said that representing the government of the only A-bombed country, he would like to take the lead for global nuclear elimination and send A-bomb victims abroad as Special Ambassadors for Denuclearization. These remarks momentarily impressed me as very considerate to the Hibakusha. Now I think that we must not be taken in by these empty words.”

The Hiroshima Council against A- and H Bombs (Hiroshima Gensuikyo) and the Hiroshima Hidankyo on August 7 sent a letter of protest to the prime minister. The letter pointed out that his approval of ‘nuclear deterrence” is completely contrary to his own speech at the peace memorial ceremony that Japan “has a moral responsibility to lead in actions toward realizing ‘a world without nuclear weapons.’” The letter criticizes the prime minister for being a hypocrite.

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo at a news conference in Hiroshima on August 6 also criticized the prime minister’s approval of “nuclear deterrence as necessity” as being unacceptable by going against the voices of Hiroshima and calls for world peace, particulary after the prime minister had heard the Peace Declaration calling for an end to Japan’s reliance on the U.S. nuclear umbrella.

Shii stressed that only by getting rid of the U.S. “nuclear umbrella” and getting out of the spell of “nuclear deterrence” doctrine can the Japanese government call on the world to abolish nuclear weapons.
-Akahata, August 7-8, 2010
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