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Protest letter against the US subcritical nuclear test (August 31, 2006)

August 31, 2006

His Excellency George W. Bush
The President
The United States of America
His Excellency John Thomas schieffer
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of
The United States of America to Japan

Letter of Protest

On August 30, the United States conducted its 23rd subcritical nuclear test at its underground nuclear test site in Nevada.

With the international community gravely concerned about and seeking a diplomatic solution to the nuclear problems presented by Iran and North Korea, this subcritical nuclear test, your second of the year, is doubly reprehensible. I fear that such actions by the US will destroy the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the only international agreement regarding nuclear weapons, and will provoke a new round of nuclear proliferation.

The city of Hiroshima, along with Mayors for Peace, which has grown to 1,416 city members, is pursuing our 2020 Vision, an emergency campaign to ban nuclear weapons. As a part of that campaign, we are pointing to an International Court of Justice advisory opinion issued 10 years ago and clearly stating that all nations, especially the nuclear-weapon states, are under a legal obligation to negotiate in good faith to achieve the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals. Recently, we have launched a Good Faith Challenge to press for these good-faith negotiations. Subcritical nuclear tests and any other policy that runs counter to the abolition of nuclear weapons are obvious violations of this good-faith requirement. I am outraged by this trampling on the wishes of the A-bomb survivors and people worldwide, who wish to be rid of such weapons. On behalf of the A-bombed city Hiroshima, I vehemently protest.

You claim that subcritical nuclear tests are necessary for the reliability and safety of your nuclear weapons, and you claim to be abiding by the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). However, if you respect the CTBT at all, you should immediately ratify it. We believe that all testing serves the development of new weapons and violates the spirit of the CTBT. I demand that you listen conscientiously to the overwhelming majority of the world’s people, who favor the abolition of nuclear weapons; that you immediately halt all nuclear testing, including subcritical testing; and that you take the lead in bringing to a successful conclusion good-faith negotiations for nuclear disarmament.

Tadatoshi Akiba
Mayor
The City of Hiroshima


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