The Honorable Shinzo Abe
Prime Minister of Japan
Request regarding Nuclear Policies of the Japanese Government
Urging actualization of a U.S. no-first-use policy and nuclear weapons convention
As a citizens group working in Hiroshima for the abolition of nuclear weapons, we hereby present this request to the Japanese government.
According to a report in the Washington Post, U.S. President Barack Obama is considering revising U.S. nuclear policy to include a no-first-use declaration. In response, according to the report, Prime Minister Abe has opposed this declaration, which is an utterly inappropriate stance for our A-bombed nation. This stance is embarrassing and invites suspicion and mistrust not only in Hiroshima but around the world.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which have experienced the unprecedented, inhumane devastation of nuclear weapons, cannot accept the existence of nuclear weapons. We certainly could never countenance their use under any circumstances whatsoever.
In news reports on the topic, the reasons given for Prime Minister Abe’s stance included, “Weakening our deterrence against North Korea.” This excuse demonstrates the Japanese government’s dependence on nuclear deterrence for security, which flatly contradicts the statements the Prime Minister read in front of the A-bomb Cenotaph when he visited Hiroshima with President Obama and again during the ceremony on August 6. To resist even a no-first-use policy exposes a profound contradiction in the Japanese government’s own assertions that it is pursuing gradual, step-by-step nuclear disarmament.
Recently a UN Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) has been working to abolish nuclear weapons by instituting a ban treaty. The vast majority of countries support such a treaty, but the Japanese government has repeatedly obstructed this effort with statements like, “The time is not ripe,” or “fill the gap between the nuclear and non-nuclear nations.” Again, such statements and attitude such as abstention from voting invite distrust and disappointment in Hiroshima and throughout the world.
As the only country to experience the combat use of nuclear weapons, Japan must immediately support the OEWG recommendations when they come up in the UN General Assembly this fall, and take the lead in promoting the negotiations for a ban on nuclear weapons, proposed to start in 2016. Support for the OEWG is the only way to recover the lost trust of those around the world seeking the abolition of nuclear weapons.
The A-bombed nation has shocked the world by opposing no-first use. Because we have 48 tons of plutonium and suspicious nuclear fuel cycle policies, the government’s opposition to no-first-use raises the specter of Japan as a latent nuclear-armed nation.
We demand the following of the Japanese government:
Stop opposing the U.S. no-first-use declaration.
At the UN General Assembly this fall, do not obstruct the start of negotiations in 2016 for a nuclear weapons convention as proposed by the OEWG; instead, take the lead, as is appropriate for the A-bombed nation.
Eliminate your accumulated plutonium and halt all plans to use the nuclear fuel cycle to produce more plutonium.
This is an appeal from Hiroshima, which has known the unparalleled inhumanity of nuclear weapons.
August 26, 2016
Co-Representative of Hiroshima Alliance for Nuclear Weapons Abolition (HANWA)
Adachi–Nishi Law Office
Room 404 Maison Kyoguchimon
5-22 Hacchobori, Naka-ku, Hiroshima 730-0013