Japan refuses to back statement against A-bombs


Japan has declined to endorse a joint statement against the use of nuclear weapons at a preparatory committee for the next Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty review meeting.

The statement on the humanitarian impact of the weapons, announced Wednesday by South Africa, urges that atomic weapons never be used under any circumstances. Members of the South African delegation said Japan sought to cut the phrase “under any circumstances.”

The government’s top spokesman, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga explained at a news conference Thursday that Japan did not agree with the statement, given “the security environment in which the country is placed.”

Some quarters of the Japanese government are believed to have objected to the statement because of concerns that endorsing it could affect the U.S. nuclear umbrella that protects Japan and undermine deterrence against North Korea, which has recently threatened to use nuclear weapons.

Suga said at the same time that Japan, as the only nation ever to suffer a nuclear attack, “knows the reality of nuclear-weapons use more than any country.”

“Japan will continue to seek the possibility of participating in (another) joint statement on such a theme,” Suga said.

Mari Amano, ambassador of the Japanese delegation to the Conference on Disarmament, said, “It differed from the policy of the Japanese government to undertake procedures for nuclear abolition in phases.”

“While we did not endorse the statement this time, we endorse (the idea of) the overall contents,” Amano said. “If a similar statement is unveiled, we could endorse it.”

More than 70 countries endorsed the statement issued at the Second Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2015 Review Conference of NPT parties in Geneva.

The joint statement says nuclear weapons have an immense destructive capability and brought vast damage via the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as through nuclear tests. The only way to ensure they will never be used again is through elimination, it says.

Just before the opening of the preparatory meeting, Switzerland asked for Japan’s endorsement, but the Foreign Ministry did not respond.

“I don’t understand why (Japan) doesn’t support it,” Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui said after the meeting. Matsui said the statement “embodies the wish (for abolition) held by Hiroshima.”

Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue issued a statement saying Japan’s failure to support the statement “trampled on the efforts made so far by hibakusha and disappointed many other countries seeking nuclear abolition.”

  • Saim

    I think the nuclear bombings of USA was like some experimentation, many experts agree that there was no real reason to use such weapons against live innocent people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
    The most destructive atomic bomb for today is the russian “tsar”(king) hydrogen bomb which is the most destructive weaponry which was made by humanity in all history.

    • Starviking

      Really? Many experts also point out that Japan, even though incapable of winning the war, was going to fight on to the end. The Allies had planned “Operation Downfall”, the invasion of Japan. Allied planners estimated that hundreds of thousands of Allied troops would die, and millions of Japanese civilians.

      • Catherine Simmions

        Yes, really. The first wave of Americans to visit Nagasaki & Hiroshima included doctors to take samples from the survivors. If not tests, why were the bombs set to explode at different altitudes?

        You can also look up what the U.S. did in the Marshall Islands between 1945 and 1956; an equivalent power of 1.6 Hiroshima bombs every day for 12 years! With many of the Islanders living on contaminated ground which they were told was safe – no war, just tests.

        btw, are your “experts” American?

      • Starviking

        I assume the bombs were set to explode at different altitudes because they were different – one was more powerful than the other. Terrain might alos have been a factor – Nagasaki being in mountainous terrain, Hiroshima not.
        As for the doctors, of course they would be sent in – Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the first use of atomic bombs on a populated area.
        None of the above makes the bombings “tests”.
        As for my “experts”. These things are recorded in historical records from not only the US, but the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – as the British Commonwealth was also involved in planning for the invasion of Japan.

      • TomoeGozen

        Saim is correct. In fact, Russia had made some serious moves against Japan shortly before we dropped those bombs. Prior to that Japan had made it’s wishes to surrender known as Russia’s involvement really changed things. The ‘experts’ that said Japan would never surrender and pulled potential American casualty numbers of not dropping the bombs projection out of a hat *this much has been admitted*, are the same experts that said cigarettes wouldn’t kill you if you know what I’m saying. The theory, and there are many, is convoluted surrounding making a stand to Russia in a critical moment starting the Cold War, among other agendas.

      • Starviking

        Wrong, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan on August the 8th 1945, two days after the Bombing of Hiroshima. They attacked Japanese forces in Manchuria on August 9th – the day of the Nagasaki bombing.

        Allied casualty figurs were taken from the experiences of Iwo Jima and Okinawa – massive Japanese resistance to the death inflicted huge casualites of the US Forces.

        As for the Cold War, that started a bit later than 1945, 1946-1947 is the generally agreed window.

      • TomoeGozen

        I will track down a peer reviewed article of that Truman stating that number was just a number. Also Japan thought prior to the Soviet Union switching positions that they were somewhat backed by them. Before they even declared attack Japan knew they had changed positions, therefore knowing they had to do the same. As for the start of the Cold War, MANY believe the dropping of those bombs was the unofficial start. Possibly nothing is on paper for almost another year, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a driving force.
        Also Catherine Simmons is correct. I’ve been in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki studying the bombs, and this is the information I received first hand. Actually because of the mountainous terrain in Nagasaki, it prevented the bomb from causing as much destruction in many was. Also there was a terrible storm there a day or so after and they found most of the radiation levels were almost ‘safe’. Meaning it was washed away so to speak. Not for good of course, just elsewhere.

      • Bai Sheng

        you obivously went to school in u.s. of A…

      • Starviking

        Totally wrong. I’ve never been near America.

      • Bai Sheng

        My bad then…I guess it was not as obvious as I thought it was, huh…

      • Starviking

        No problem.

  • decco

    I stand firmly behind he two mayors.
    Dr. Hideko Tamura Snider, a Hiroshima Hibakusha