Hiroshima to grade states on disarmament

by Jun Hongo

Staff Writer

As the 67th anniversary of Hiroshima’s atomic bombing approaches, the prefecture is trying a new tactic to achieve the goal of global nuclear disarmament.

A prefectural official told The Japan Times on Tuesday that Hiroshima will conduct its own research and analysis of nuclear disarmament around the world and grade each country on its commitment to abandoning atomic weapons.

“This is the first time Hiroshima Prefecture has embarked on such a project,” the official said. The study is “a duty that Hiroshima must carry out,” the prefecture says on its website.

Experts are expected to start meeting soon and publish a final report in Japanese and English within the fiscal year.

Countries to be researched include the U.S., Russia, France, Britain, China and North Korea as well as those suspected of pursuing nuclear weapons, including Iran and Syria.

Although private institutes and organizations have carried out similar projects, the prefecture believes that promoting nuclear disarmament with a report that bears Hiroshima’s name will have an added impact.

Some ¥5 million has been allocated for the project in the prefecture’s 2012 fiscal budget.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki remain the only two cities to have experienced nuclear attacks. The bombs left an estimated 140,000 dead by the end of 1945 in Hiroshima and another 70,000 in Nagasaki.

Hiroshima will mark the 67th anniversary of the atomic bombing on Monday. Clifton Truman Daniel, grandson of the late President Harry S. Truman, who ordered the atomic bombings, is scheduled to attend the prefecture’s memorial ceremony for the first time.