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Protest letter against the US subcritical nuclear test (September 27, 2001)

September 27, 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 September 26, at your underground test site in Nevada, the United States conducted its 14th subcritical nuclear test.

On entering the 21st century, millions of people around the world are working harder than ever to free this new century from nuclear weapons. Your repeated subcritical nuclear testing and obvious intention to maintain nuclear weapons tramples on the hopes of the vast majority of the world's people. Furthermore, your implementation of a test even as Prime Minister Koizumi is visiting the US to discuss how to react to the terrorist attack demonstrates your utter disregard for the feelings of the A-bomb survivors and the Japanese people. I am particularly outraged by this test and, on behalf of the people of Hiroshima, I vehemently protest.

According to news reports, the present test is designed to brandish the power of nuclear weapons before the guilty terrorist organization and any governments that support it. Worse yet, you are reportedly considering the possibility of actually using tactical nuclear weapons to exact your military revenge. To accept such behavior is to justify the use of nuclear weapons as a means of revenge.

A cursory glance at 20th century history should be enough to see that the concept of nuclear deterrence invites the escalation and proliferation of nuclear weapons, creating a crisis that threatens the very existence of the human race. Now is no time to develop or proudly display nuclear weapons. Rather, we must concentrate on stopping their proliferation and establish a process by which they can be eliminated as soon as possible.

The people of Hiroshima demand that the United States immediately halt all subcritical nuclear testing. We further demand that you immediately ratify the CTBT, then work quickly toward conclusion of an effective cut-off treaty in a good-faith effort to build a new, nuclear-free world order in the 21st century.

Finally, I urge you to consider extremely carefully any military action the United States might take in the response to the terrorist attack. I demand that you refrain absolutely from using nuclear weapons and avoid any other inhumane form of retaliation that could bring harm to innocent people.

Tadatoshi Akiba
Mayor
The City of Hiroshima


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