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Protest letter against the US subcritical nuclear test (March 6, 1998)

March 6, 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

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Energy announced that a third round of sub-critical nuclear testing would be conducted at an underground testing site in Nevada at the end of the month. On behalf of the citizens of Hiroshima City, I strongly protest this act which disdains the international call for a halt to testing.

Your country claims that the absence of an accompanying nuclear explosion in sub-critical tests exempts them from the provisions of the CTBT (Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty). Such an attitude bespeaks abandonment of the genuine efforts toward nuclear disarmament which are incumbent on nuclear powers. It also works to solidify the possession of nuclear weapons, inflames the suspicions of India and other countries, and further endangers the effectuation of the CTBT.

As was clarified in the "Statement on Nuclear Weapons by International Civilian Leaders" announced by General Lee Butler, the former Commander-in-Chief of the United States Strategic Air Command, your country must turn a sincere ear to the international call for the abolition of nuclear weapons and immediately cease your plan to conduct subcritical nuclear testing. I furthermore ask you to understand that a national security policy based on the argument of nuclear deterrence is no longer realistic, and that it is your responsibility to actively work towards the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Takashi Hiraoka
Mayor of Hiroshima


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