Mayor skeptical of Abe vow at Nagasaki rites to seek end to nuclear arms

Kyodo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may have used the 68th anniversary Friday of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki to pledge his utmost efforts to abolish nuclear weapons, but Mayor Tomihisa Taue criticized the administration for its recent inaction.

“I call on the Japanese government to consider once again that Japan is the only country to have suffered a nuclear bombing,” Taue said twice in his latest Peace Declaration, delivered in the city’s Peace Park for the annual ceremony that was attended this year by representatives of 44 countries.

He said the Abe administration’s failure to sign a statement rejecting the use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances at an international meeting in April is “betraying the expectations of global society” and “implies that the government would approve of their use under some circumstances.”

Taue also expressed concern about the resumption of Japan-India negotiations for a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement, saying such deal with India, a de facto nuclear power that has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, would render “meaningless” the NPT regime and give North Korea “an excuse to justify” its nuclear weapons.

Abe pledged that Japan will make every effort to eradicate nuclear weapons, as he did during a ceremony Tuesday in Hiroshima commemorating the 1945 atomic bombing of that city.

On the administration’s decision not to endorse the joint statement, which was supported by 80 countries at the preparatory committee session in Geneva for the next NPT review meeting, Abe told reporters in Hiroshima that “the severe reality” of North Korea’s nuclear threat had an influence.

The speeches at Friday’s ceremony came after participants offered silent prayers for the victims at 11:02 a.m., the time the bomb detonated over Nagasaki.

Representing hibakusha, Shohei Tsuiki, 86, who was then 18, said what he saw after the bombing was “just a scene from hell,” filled with people without ears and noses, with burned skin dangling from their bodies, or holding their dead children.

“It is obvious that nuclear power and human beings cannot coexist,” he said, referring to the Fukushima crisis as well as the bombings of the two cities. “I ask the government to take action sincerely and proactively toward the elimination of nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants.”

All five declared nuclear powers under the NPT — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — were represented, along with India as a first-time attendee and Israel among de facto nuclear powers that are not NPT signatories.

U.S. Ambassador John Roos, who in 2010 became the first envoy from Washington to attend Hiroshima’s memorial ceremony, attended the Nagasaki ceremony for the second time.

Three days after Hiroshima was devastated by an atomic bomb dropped by a U.S. B-29 bomber, the United States dropped another on Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945. An estimated 74,000 people were killed in the blast and its immediate aftermath in a city with a population of about 240,000.

Taue said Nagasaki “supports” U.S. President Barack Obama’s desire to seek a nuclear-free world, expressed in Prague in April 2009, and his statement in June this year to work toward a reduction of nuclear arsenals.

  • Murasaki

    First thing we should be doing in Japan is ending the US occupation of the country. Then worry about eliminate nuclear weapons.

    • Guest

      If that involves ending the security treaty between the two countries then sign me up.

      • Murasaki

        There is a security treaty between Japan and Australia, yet Australia does not have military bases in Japan and over 35,000+ military personal like the US has. So why does the US need to have bases and personal here?

      • ff

        Actually, you are wrong there. There is no security treaty between Japan and Australia.

      • Murasaki

        You are well miss informed ff ….

        Quote

        2007

        The prime ministers of Japan and Australia have signed a security pact designed to enhance military co-operation between the two nations.
        Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe said the pact would help to stabilise the region.
        The defence deal – Japan’s first with a country other than the US – includes co-operation on border security, counter-terrorism and disaster relief.
        Japan’s other defence treaty was signed in 1960, when the US guaranteed to defend Japan if it were attacked.

        Need I say more? You Americans do not know very much about the world outside your own little bubble do you?

    • ff

      If you honestly think Japan is still occupied by the US, I don’t even want to waste my time countering your comment.. but I will.
      If the US leaves Japan and South Korea, then you are going to have to deal with North Korea and China, two countries who have nuclear weapons and aren’t afraid to show them off. If the US leaves the region, what is stopping North Korea from pointing Musudan missiles at Seoul and Tokyo and saying “give us aid, or we will fire”? The US believe it or not is holding that region together. Look at the Philippines, we removed troops from there, and they are having a lot of trouble dealing with China in the South China sea. They are even asking us to come back.. I doubt North Korea will hold as much restraint as China. a poll from the Japanese ministry of defense ( I can link it if you want) shows that over 60% of Japanese appreciate and want the US forces in Japan. Just because you are butt hurt or have some kind of anger against the US does not mean we are going to turn our backs on our allies.

  • Tyler Chester

    I’m not sure if we’ll see nuclear weapons vanish completely. As much as I endorse peace & prosperity between nations, not all of us get along. We can only minimize our nuclear arsenal because sooner or later, nations will be at it again like the Cold War. Take China and Japan for example, I see an inevitable war coming unless both countries can resolve issues diplomatically. We all know what China’s intentions are and I’m concerned that it’s going to bring a negative outcome. The U.S. has an obligation to defend and protect Japan at all costs. I’m sure other nations (UK, NZ, SK, etc) would join the fight against China if stability in the region decreases. I think the U.S. is preparing for the worse considering the recent news of their increasing presence in the Philippines, a strategic hub in the South China sea.

  • bruni

    The statement “nuclear power and human beings cannot coexist” of Shohei Tsuiki (now of age 86) who had the 1st hand experience anticipate the destruction and agony of human race to come. Unless these nuclear superpowers (including Japan, Israel, Iran, North Korea, etc) “walk the talk”, they will be leading the way to the destruction…………

  • http://www.sheldonthinks.com/ andrew Sheldon

    Nonsense; Fukushima is proof that governments are next to useless as regulators, because at the end of the day, they only care about perceptions, and have no performance measures, beyond the ‘two party relativism’. The Non-Proliferation Treaty is useless too. There is nothing wrong with developing nuclear weapons; there is everything wrong with being a statist regime that subjugates your people to your values. The next step is subjugating everyone else. north Korea is in a different category to India; how can you even compare the two countries.

  • http://ameblo.jp/cluttered-talk/ Michiko

    Not only this time his statement, but also “not going to burn their flag while they’re burning our flag on abroad, which must be our Japanese dignity” that’s what he firmly testified on Diet few months ago, then we can’t find any reason to arm with nuclear weapon as long as follow Abe, while any foreign countries have prepared which weapon.
    We’re not going by eye for an eye, as what he said.
    Anyone following Abe has to quit slandering or insulting China or both Korea or long term residents in Japan immediately, if one tend to follow his order, otherwise he or she’s breaking the rule what Abe determined.