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Protest letter against the Russia subcritical nuclear test (December 25, 1998)

December 25, 1998

The Honorable Boris Nikolaevich Yeltsin
The President
The Russian Federation

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

Letter of Protest

It has become clear that your country conducted a series of five subcritical nuclear tests on the island of Novaya Zemlya between September 14 and December 13. During this interval, the UN General Assembly passed a number of resolutions demanding the abolition of nuclear weapons, the Second United Nations Conference on Disarmament Issues in Nagasaki adopted a resolution to "ensure that Nagasaki will remain the last city in the world to have suffered from the calamity of nuclear weapons," and Japan hosted the 2nd Tokyo Forum Regarding Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament-all evidence that the international community is engaged in serious debate about how to maintain and strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime and how to promote worldwide nuclear disarmament. I am outraged by your betrayal of these efforts and, on behalf of the people of Hiroshima, I vehemently protest.

Repeated nuclear testing by Russia and the United States, the two superpowers, makes it clear that you intend to maintain your nuclear weapons, and we are gravely concerned that your stance is intensifying distrust of you among the non-nuclear nations and may stimulate a new round of nuclear proliferation.

In response to an international community demanding to live in a world free from nuclear weapons, Russia should abandon its theory of nuclear deterrence and work with the other nuclear powers to build a community of nations that assures national security without relying on nuclear weapons. To this end, you should immediately halt your subcritical nuclear testing and, accepting your duty as a nuclear power, begin working actively and positively for nuclear disarmament.

Takashi Hiraoka
Mayor of Hiroshima


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