Exclusion of nonnuclear principles from Abe’s Hiroshima speech causes stir


Staff Writer

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s failure to include a pledge to observe the country’s three nonnuclear principles in the annual memorial speech on Thursday remembering the victims of the Hiroshima atomic bomb attack is causing speculation the exclusion may be political.

In 2014 and 2013, Abe himself reconfirmed the pledge repeated by past prime ministers to “firmly maintain” the principles — of not possessing, producing or permitting nuclear weapons on Japanese territory — in the annual speech in the city that was devastated by an atomic bomb dropped by a U.S. plane on Aug. 6, 1945.

After the speech on Thursday, senior government officials downplayed the exclusion, pointing out the prime minister in the same speech emphasized his determination to make every effort to abolish nuclear weapons around the world. “(Maintaining) the three nonnuclear principles is a matter of course. It’s unshaken,” said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga during a daily news conference.

Even if Abe didn’t have any political intention, as Suga alleged, the exclusion of the phrase was probably ill-timed politically.

A day earlier, Defense Minister Gen Nakatani generated controversy by saying the government’s security bills could theoretically allow Japan to transport weapons for foreign or multinational force overseas, including nuclear weapons.Nakatani said, in reality, Japan would never carry out such a mission because the country firmly maintains the three nonnuclear principles.

But opposition lawmakers pointed out the principles are not enshrined in a law and the security bills do not exclude the transport of weapons of mass destruction for foreign militaries.

The three nonnuclear principles, first outlined by then Prime Minister Eisaku Sato in 1967, were endorsed in a resolution by the Diet in a 1971.

Successive mayors of Nagasaki, a city that was attacked by the U.S. on Aug. 9, 1945, with an atomic bomb, have called on the central government to legislate the principles into a law since 1986 in their annual memorial speeches honoring the victims.

When asked during Thursday’s news conference if the principles should be enshrined into law, Suga deflected the question, saying they have been thoroughly observed.

Abe was also criticized for the speech he gave at the 2014 ceremony in Hiroshima. The text of that speech was virtually identical to the one he gave in 2013.

“Last year, (Abe’s speech) was criticized as a copy-and-paste job,” said a high-ranking government official. “If this year’s speech had been the same, he would have been criticized again.” Hiroshima was the first city attacked using a nuclear weapon.

The massive explosion and radiation generated by the bomb killed an estimated 140,000 people by the end of 1945

  • Luiza Martins

    Message in honor of the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, with a very personal opinion goes up my opposition to the use of Nuclear Energy.

    At present the human being, you have no idea what you do, especially in the energy and environmental field, only cares about the hotness of obtaining easy profit through exploitation of resources, that contribute to the destruction of the Earth’s environment.

    The most outrageous is the use of Nuclear Energy, something that will bring the medium-long term consequences, both on the ground as in the seas.

    The use of Nuclear Energy since the second world war, when it began the construction of nuclear power plants on the part of many countries, but this was done only with two very different objectives.

    1 to obtain cheap energy and quickly, not looking at the consequences that this may bring in the future, both for the people and for the environment itself.

    2 obtaining nuclear weapons, and power to dominate the planet, we have examples very realistic about this issue.

    The launch of the atomic bombs on Japan in 1945, is something to witness the human cruelty when using this type of highly destructive mechanism, that thousands of deaths and left thousands of survivors, many of them still are alive today, even though they are very elderly.

    Nobody until now realized that the descendants of this tragedy, they carry in their genes the effects of radiation, which will be broadcast for a few generations.

    The same can be said of the areas that were hit by bombs. Despite past 70 years, these places are still with presence of radioactive particles, they are minimum will remain for centuries, being infiltrated into the soil to a considerable depth.

    Water resources of 3 cities that were hit by bombs, is likely today to have contamination, can be on a smaller scale, but it will remain for a long time.

    At present we have two examples of radioactive contamination, are examples that left their marks will remain for many centuries, and it may be possible to no longer disappear due to its high degree of existing contamination.

    The Chernobyl accident in 1986, an entire city becoming useless, being completely abandoned, infecting thousands of its inhabitants, many of them today are more alive.

    Launched at the time a radioactive cloud in the atmosphere, with hundreds of kilometres in diameter, which hit several countries, with different degrees of contamination.

    This was a hard lesson at the time, but to no avail I guess, because despite this accident the countries continued building nuclear power plants.

    What happened at Fukushima in 11 a pack of 2014, is another example, only this time it was caused by man, but by nature, was a consequence of the Earthquake and Tsunami that happened in this region.

    Here the situation is more complicated, because the plants are very close to center of seawater, there sure tera radioactive water leak, which will affect the long-term marine Fauna, and may lead to extinction entire species that inhabit this coastal region of Japan.

    In view of these events should seek alternatives more intelligent than not polluting or jeopardise the life of human being itself, as the planet’s Fauna and flora

    • ron bates

      The US Government was left with little choice in 1945 as thousands of US Marines and USN personnel were lost in the Pacific push to Japan . As for upholding the principals of no nuclear weapons on Japanese soil under any conditions or agreement that must stand . We know the risk in peace to it and send allied troops to hotspots to uphold the peace through combat if necessary ! Environmentalism is not World War !

  • ron bates

    Again this day is remembered in Japan with reverence , trepidation ; the political line should never supersede the correctness of principal . Three principals that spell out clearly not to allow any nuclear weapons or devices on Japanese soil ! Coastal defense as well as allied surveillance create certainty while Japanese admission to the Nuclear Club is folly and heresy .

  • Ahojanen

    Another nitpick failing to capture the overall context in his talk. Besides, the non-nuclear principles have already been bleached, as US military in Japan carries nuke warheads. An open secret.

  • Luiza Martins

    A Clarification

    The Opinion I posted, it was only to give my support to the Japanese people that I admire from the bottom of my heart, because I lived with Japanese in two situations other than my life

    The Japanese people are very special people who I admire and who have a very special respect. and a wonder, since my childhood.