A-bombed cities hail Obama goal

JIJI

Hiroshima and Nagasaki applauded U.S. President Barack Obama’s proposal to further reduce the nuclear arsenals of the United States and Russia.

“I welcome Obama’s proposal, which demonstrates his strong determination to realize a world without nuclear weapons,” Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui said in a statement. “I want the U.S. president to continue taking the leadership toward the elimination of nuclear arms.”

Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue said, “I hope Obama’s proposal will serve as a step that would lead to the abolition of nuclear weapons.”

In a speech Wednesday in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Obama declared his intention to begin talks with Moscow on reducing the number of strategic nuclear warheads deployed by the United States and Russia by one-third from the upper limit set under the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty between the two sides.

The New START calls on each country to limit the number of deployed nuclear warheads to 1,550 by 2018.

Sunao Tsuboi, leader of a Hiroshima prefectural organization for survivors of the 1945 A-bombing of the city, said, “I want Obama to make further efforts” to create a world free of nuclear arms.

While voicing pleasure at Obama’s proposal, Tsuboi also noted that the United States has been repeatedly conducting nuclear tests. Further steps are necessary to create “a peaceful Earth,” he added.

Hirotami Yamada, an official at the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Survivors Council, also welcomed Obama’s announcement.