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Regarding the Aug. 7 article “U.S. nuclear umbrella crucial: Aso“: I have spent the past 10-plus years of my life working to prevent nuclear proliferation. This matter is one of the most serious and consequential that the world is faced with today. It is equally linked to terrorism, and is a much bigger issue than the consequences of the failures on Wall Street and Main Street.

It is of utmost importance that we take a stand and join the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well as U.S. President Barack Obama and others in pushing for the elimination of nuclear weapons. As Democratic Party of Japan president Yukio Hatoyama points out, obtaining this goal is fundamental for mankind — even though when and how it happens is unclear. Not making a weapons ban a goal is the worst choice anyone could make. Prime Minister Taro Aso notes that nuclear deterrence is necessary for now, but I would add that we cannot count on this indefinitely.

The effort required to put an end to nuclear weapons will be far greater than that needed to create the first bomb. As future visionaries, the people working toward this end deserve our praise, support and any resources for total success. As witnesses to the October 1962 Cuban missile crisis, I and many others remember the fear that life as we knew it might end and how close we all came to devastation.

My interest in this issue stems not just from being raised in Los Alamos, New Mexico, being a student of high-energy physics and working in the nuclear industry for almost 15 years, but also from being the son of a man who was a prisoner of war in Kokura, Fukuoka Prefecture — a possible A-bomb target — on Aug. 9, 1945.

john debriere