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Protest letter against the US subcritical nuclear test (December 12, 1998)

December 12, 1998

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 its underground testing site in Nevada, the United States conducted its fifth subcritical nuclear test. Russia, too, conducted such a test on the 8th. These willful actions by the two major nuclear powers take place at a time when public opinion in the intenational community is turning sharply in favor of abolishing nuclear weapons, as evidenced by the adoption in December in the UN General Assembly of resolutions that call for the abolition of nuclear weapons and, in November, the adoption by acclamation in the Second United Nations Conference on Disarmament Issues in Nagasaki of a resolution to "ensure that Nagasaki will remain the last city in the world to have suffered from the calamity of nuclear weapons." I am outraged by your flagrant disregard of these activities and, on behalf of the people of Hiroshima, I vehemently protest.

President Clinton, during your recent visit to Japan you stated clearly your intent to maintain your nuclear weapons indefinitely, and this test underscores that stance. With all due respect, however, you are making a serious mistake. Instead, the United States should turn a respectful ear to the voice of international society demanding a world free from nuclear weapons. To prevent further nuclear proliferation, you should immediately halt your subcritical nuclear testing and, accepting your duty as a nuclear power, you should engage positively and actively in nuclear disarmament. To these ends, you should be making every possible effort to build a community of nations capable of assuring national security without relying on nuclear weapons.

Takashi Hiraoka
Mayor of Hiroshima


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