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Protest letter against the US subcritical nuclear test (December 14, 2001)

December 14, 2001

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

His Excellency Howard H. Baker
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
of the United States of America
Embassy of the United States of America in Japan

Letter of Protest

On December 13, 2001, the United States conducted its fifteenth subcritical nuclear test at its test site in Nevada.

After the terrorist incident of September 11, most of the world is gravely concerned about the use of a nuclear weapon by a terrorist organization and about the development of nuclear weapons for use against terrorist organizations. Given the rapidly intensifying demand for a halt to nuclear proliferation and for rapid elimination of all nuclear weapons, your continued subcritical testing and obvious intention to cling to nuclear weapons betrays the hopes of the A-bomb survivors and people the world over striving to abolish nuclear weapons. I am outraged by your action and, on behalf of the people of Hiroshima, I vehemently protest.

You have stated that your subcritical tests are required to maintain the safety and reliability of nuclear weapons and that, because they involve no nuclear explosion, they do not violate the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). However, we believe that such testing may well be leading to the development of new nuclear weapons and, therefore, clearly violates the spirit of the CTBT. Furthermore, last month the United States opposed in the UN General Assembly the Japanese government's resolution regarding "A path to the total elimination of nuclear weapons." The US has absented itself from Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT and now you have announced that the US will unilaterally withdraw from the Anti-ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. All of this is detrimental to nuclear disarmament efforts by the international community and obviously runs counter to the promise of an "unequivocal undertaking to undertake [your] nuclear arsenal" incorporated in the final document by the NPT Review Conference in May of last year.

The United States must begin listening sincerely to the vast majority of the international community calling for elimination of nuclear weapons. To free the 21st century from nuclear weapons, the US should immediately halt all subcritical nuclear testing, ratify the CTBT, promote early effectuation of a Cut-Off Treaty, and work wholeheartedly to build a new world order without such weapons.

Tadatoshi Akiba
Mayor
The City of Hiroshima


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