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Protest letter against the US announcement of subcritical nuclear test (September 4, 1998)

September 4, 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

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced that a fourth round of sub-critical nuclear testing will be carried out at its underground testing site in Nevada from mid until late September. The very foundation of the nuclear non-proliferation structure has been shaken by the nuclear tests carried out by India and Pakistan in May, and amid the increased danger of proliferation and use of nuclear weapons, the international community is commencing efforts to resolve this crisis situation, including the announcement of a declaration by the foreign ministers of eight non-nuclear countries entitled "Towards a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World: The Need for a New Agenda." The actions of your country run counter to these initiatives and I am outraged at the announcement of the implementation of these tests. On behalf of the citizens of Hiroshima City, I strongly protest.

Your country vociferously asserts that because these tests are not accompanied by nuclear explosions, they do not violate the provisions of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). However, it is an inescapable fact that your obvious intention to maintain a nuclear arsenal, and lack of any measures whatsoever to fulfill your obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), are contributory factors to the nuclear testing carried out by India and Pakistan, and you should halt your sub-critical nuclear testing immediately.

I strongly urge you to understand that it is incumbent on the United States as a nuclear power to heed international opinion calling for a world free from nuclear weapons, earnestly pursue the total abolition of nuclear weapons and the prevention of further proliferation, and make every effort towards building confidence and an international community that can maintain national security without relying on nuclear weapons.

Takashi Hiraoka
Mayor of Hiroshima


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