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Protest letter against the US subcritical nuclear test (June 8, 2002)

June 8, 2002

His Excellency George W. Bush
The President
The United States of America

Letter of Protest

On June 7, the United States conducted its 17th subcritical nuclear test at its underground nuclear test site in Nevada.

With the rest of the world working hard to halt the proliferation of nuclear weapons and abolish all such weapons as soon as possible, America's subcritical nuclear testing and obvious intent to retain nuclear weapons indefinitely is a betrayal of the A-bomb survivors and the people of the world who wish to see this threat eliminated. Furthermore, just prior to this test, the Department of Energy made public its plan to resume the manufacture of the capsules that trigger the detonation of nuclear weapons. Such actions reveal not only a lack of intent to eliminate such weapons, but also an intent to actually use them. You are trampling on the hopes of the international community, the vast majority of which is working to abolish nuclear weapons, and I am personally outraged. As mayor of the A-bombed city Hiroshima, on behalf of our citizens, I vehemently protest.

Israelis and Palestinians remain trapped in their chain of attack and retaliation. India and Pakistan are poised on the brink of nuclear war. Meanwhile, the United States not only insists on maintaining nuclear weapons for self-defense, it is advocating development and planning the use of such weapons. This self-centered, unilateralist stance is crippling the international disarmament process. Indeed, we gravely fear that you are lighting the fuse that will lead to widespread nuclear proliferation and, possibly, the annihilation of the human race in a nuclear holocaust.

As nuclear superpower and world leader, the United States has a clear duty to support the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice declaring that the threat or use of nuclear weapons violates international law. You are also obligated to pursue in good faith the "unequivocal undertaking" to eliminate your nuclear arsenal promised at the most recent NPT review conference. The city of Hiroshima demands that you accept these obligations and work sincerely for a 21st century of genuine peace free from nuclear weapons.

Tadatoshi Akiba
Mayor
The City of Hiroshima


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