The Oct. 28/29 editorial of “Pushing for nuclear disarmament” prompted me to share some thoughts on the abolition of nuclear weapons. Needless to say, it is good news that Japan has signed a United Nations statement calling for the nonuse of nuclear weapons “under any circumstances.”
In his Prague speech, U.S. President Barack Obama said that the United States, as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, has a moral responsibility to act.
Japan is expected to say that, as the only nation to suffer atomic bombings, it has a responsibility to work with every nation against the use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances.
If one country uses nuclear weapons, total war is highly probable. Therefore, any leader in a difficult situation must choose to “coexist or co-perish.” Their decision will be directly linked with the fate of life on this planet.
The U.N. statement also said “All efforts must be exerted to eliminate the threat of these weapons of mass destruction.” This statement is acceptable, but it could be rephrased or interpreted to say: “All nations must make every effort to create a world without the nuclear weapons mindset.”
Originally Kyoto was also an atomic bombing target toward the end of World War II. It is said that the bombing was avoided because an American military officer who had once visited the city, knew it to be a great center of culture and was a lover of Japanese paintings in particular used his influence to exclude the city from scheduled devastation.
I don’t mean to suggest that the power of culture will have to be made stronger than the tactical urge to use an atomic bomb in conflict. But this should make us think of one possible direction we can take toward creating a nuclear-free world.
The writings of children who have had a chance to listen to the real story of atomic bomb sufferers consistently convey thoughts along the lines of “Who created nuclear weapons? Human beings! Who uses nuclear weapons? Human beings! Who can stop using nuclear weapons? Human beings.”
There may come a time when some leaders of the world are put into dangerous situations in which they must consider whether to use nuclear weapons or not. I do pray strongly that they will choose coexistence under any circumstances.
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.