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Protest letter against the Russia subcritical nuclear test (February 5, 2000)

February 5, 2000

The Honorable Vladimir V. Putin
Acting President
Russian Federation

His Excellency Aleksandor Nikolaevich Panov
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
of the Russian Federation
Embassy of the Russian Federation in Japan

Letter of Protest

It was reported on February 4 that the Russian Federation conducted two subcritical nuclear tests on January 8, bringing to seven the total number of such tests since September 23 of last year. In December of last year, the UN adopted a series of resolutions related to the abolition of nuclear weapons in an effort to counter recent setbacks to nuclear disarmament. Around the world, increasingly numerous voices are demanding that the nuclear powers take positive steps toward the elimination of nuclear weapons, yet Russia and the United States have abandoned that effort. Your repeated subcritical nuclear tests are an obvious betrayal of the international public, which clearly seeks a ban on nuclear weapons. On behalf of the people of Hiroshima, I am outraged and vehemently protest.

We are gravely concerned that the attitude displayed by Russia and the United States will be detrimental to the nuclear disarmament efforts of the international community. You have undoubtedly increased distrust among the non-nuclear nations, which could manifest in a new round of nuclear proliferation. In fact, we have recently heard that Iran may have obtained a nuclear weapon, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is threatening to discontinue its freeze on nuclear development.

Russia and the United states should listen conscientiously to majority world opinion, immediately halt your subcritical nuclear testing, and take the lead in working to build a world free from nuclear weapons in the 21st century.

Tadatoshi Akiba
Mayor
The City of Hiroshima


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