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Protest letter against the US subcritical nuclear test (February 10, 1999)

February 10, 1999

The Honorable William Jefferson Clinton
The President
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
The United States of America

His Excellency Dr. Thomas Stephen Foley
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
of the United States of America
Embassy of the United States of America in Japan

Letter of Protest

Today, at the underground nuclear test site in Nevada, your country conducted its sixth subcritical nuclear test. The series of tests conducted by India and Pakistan last year shook the nuclear non-proliferation regime to its foundations. Last month, the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva launched negotiations toward a ban on the production of weapons-grade fissile materials, the so-called Cut Off Treaty. While in this and other ways the international community is making a concerted effort to break out of the current situation, you have actedin direct opposition to that effort. I was infuriated by the announcement that the US had once again conducted a nuclear test, and on behalf of the people of Hiroshima, I vehemently protest.

You insist that subcritical testing does not violate the CTBT, but you are clearly violating the spirit of that treaty. Your repeated testing and your clearly stated intent to continue possessing nuclear weapons indefinitely contributes to mounting distrust of the nuclear powers and threatens to provoke a new round of nuclear proliferation.

The United States should listen to the international community's demands for a world free from nuclear weapons. You should stop provoking nuclear proliferation, immediately halt your subcritical nuclear tests, and accept your sworn obligation as a nuclear power to work actively and positively toward nuclear disarmament.

Takashi Hiraoka
Mayor of Hiroshima


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