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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 October 19 - 25  > Cuban Crisis showed 'nuclear deterrence' is dangerous illusion leading to catastrophic ending
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2022 October 19 - 25 [WORLD]

Cuban Crisis showed 'nuclear deterrence' is dangerous illusion leading to catastrophic ending

October 24, 2022

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

It has been 60 years since the world was on the verge of a nuclear war in October 1962. Now, the world is again facing a nuclear crisis as Russia's Putin administration is making a veiled threat to use its nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

What triggered the crisis 60 years ago was that the former Soviet Union deployed nuclear missiles, whose range covered the United States, in Cuba. The deployment was reportedly an attempt to "deter" the U.S. from invading Cuba. U.S. President Kennedy in response imposed a naval blockade on Cuba on October 22 and declared that the U.S. would retaliate against a Soviet attack. He installed a "quasi-wartime regime" on the assumption of all-out war on the Soviet Union and placed nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles on standby for an immediate launch. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union prepared the launch of intercontinental ballistic missiles and gave its commander dispatched to Cuba authority to launch the nuclear missiles.

Many people in the world thought that a U.S.-Soviet nuclear war or a third world war would be inevitable, but the war was avoided in the very nick of time. It was nothing less than just sheer luck. The Cuban Crisis showed that the "nuclear deterrence" policy is just a dangerous illusion leading to a catastrophic ending.

In the Cuban Crisis, Japan was at the forefront of an imminent U.S.-Soviet war. A number of U.S. nuclear warheads were installed in Okinawa and nuclear-tipped cruise missiles were readied to be fired toward the Soviet Union. Okinawa could have been a first target if a nuclear war had broken out.

A Japan-U.S. "secret agreement", which enables the U.S. to bring in its nuclear weapons to Japan at U.S. own discretion, still exists today. Japan should cancel this agreement and rigidly abide by Japan's "Three Nonnuclear Principles". This will save Japan and East Asia from a potential nuclear catastrophe. Japan should do away with the U.S. "nuclear umbrella" and ratify the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons without delay.
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