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The July 8 Timeout article by Jon Mitchell, titled “Okinawa’s first nuclear missile men break silence,” made for gripping reading. To realize once again how close the whole world came to nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962 is terrifying and sobering. Testimony in the article also confirms the destination of the “Mace” missiles on Okinawa. This had been widely suspected for a long time. They were aimed at China.

The photo of the Mace missile base at Onna, Okinawa, is particularly poignant for us. In 1984, the site was converted by our organization into the Okinawa World Peace Monument. It is now used as a venue for exhibitions promoting peace. Soka Gakkai Honorary President Daisaku Ikeda urged preserving this structure in order to convey to future generations a vivid lesson about the futility of war and the urgent need to build a culture of peace.

The world is still caught up in the obsolete policies of nuclear deterrence, which have no place in today’s post-Cold War world. Nuclear weapons continue to consume vast amounts of resources and increase insecurity and international tensions.

The lesson learned from half a century ago is that nuclear war would be catastrophic for humanity. That’s why we continue to support efforts to realize a Nuclear Weapons Convention that will comprehensively ban these most inhumane of weapons.

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.

hirotsugu terasaki

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