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Request letter appealing against plans for the Manhattan Project National Historical Park (December 2, 2011)

December 2, 2011

His Excellency Mr. John V. Roos
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
of the United States of America
Embassy of the United States of America in Japan

Letter of Request

A citizen who recently visited the Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada, informed us that he was concerned that the exhibits there do not deal with the pain and sorrow inflicted by the atomic bombings. After receiving his communication, the city of Hiroshima studied the museum through a site visit. We found very little information on the damage wrought by the use of the bomb on Hiroshima, while many displays exalt the success of nuclear testing.

We understand that the purpose of the facility is to convey the history of the Nevada Test Site. Nonetheless, the citizens of Hiroshima have held high hopes for the future of nuclear policy in the United States of America since hearing the wonderful Prague speech by President Obama in 2009. He said, “…as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act….I state clearly and with conviction America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”

Therefore, I am writing to request that the exhibit in Las Vegas reflect your president’s will and that information on the devastation and human damage caused by the bombings be included as part of the reality of nuclear weapons.

In addition, the people of Hiroshima were profoundly alarmed to learn this July that the U.S. announced a plan to designate three sites involved in the Manhattan Project (Los Alamos, New Mexico; Hanford, Washington; and Oak Ridge, Tennessee) as a national historic park.

Though we do not know the details of this project, we are concerned that a park to celebrate the Manhattan Project would be an indication that those involved have no real understanding of A-bomb damage. Furthermore, this attitude runs contrary to the wishes of the millions of people around the world calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Such a park would communicate an erroneous and dangerous message to future generations.

I hereby urge you to ensure that your government displays an accurate understanding of the bitter sorrow of A-bomb survivors and their desire for peace in a world free of nuclear weapons. The realization of this world is a commitment made by your own president. Furthermore, I strongly request that the U.S. carefully re-think its nuclear weapons policies, including the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, and that you stop showcasing nuclear weapons without a full and accurate presentation of the actual damage wrought by the atomic bombings.

MATSUI Kazumi
Mayor
The City of Hiroshima


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