I am baffled by the April 12 Kyodo article “Hiroshima gives disarmament grades,” which reports that Hiroshima prefectural authorities have judged the United States second best in reducing its nuclear arsenal and working for nuclear weapons nonproliferation. The U.S. is spending an additional $185 billion to “modernize” its nuclear arsenal and delivery systems, maintains its first-strike nuclear war-fighting doctrine, and has ratcheted up the crisis with North Korea by conducting simulated nuclear attacks.
It is also worth noting that the Obama administration’s failed policy of “strategic patience” — refusing to talk with North Korea while pressing sanctions — and its simulated nuclear attacks have stoked proliferation, serving to harden Pyongyang’s resolve to identify itself as a nuclear weapons state.
As former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Donald Gregg has advised, military threats will not succeed in reining in North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, and that the way forward is diplomacy.
Similarly surprising was that China was judged the worst of the 19 countries reviewed by the report. This is a country that has a much smaller nuclear arsenal than the U.S., does not have a first-strike nuclear war-fighting strategy, and has persisted with the six-party talks diplomatic process.
Another way to have conducted the study might have been to honestly explore which nation has done the most to fulfill all of the requirements of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty — including the Article VI mandate to engage in good-faith negotiations to achieve the complete abolition of nuclear weapons. Might the prefecture’s grading exercise have been an exercise in managing consent for the U.S.-Japan alliance targeted against China?
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.