Survivors of the World War II atomic bomb attack that hit Nagasaki criticized Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida for his statement regarding nuclear weapons use. The minister, who issued the comment while speaking at a lecture in the city, gave the audience the impression that he finds it acceptable to use nuclear weapons in certain situations.
Kishida was speaking to 180 participants at lecture at Nagasaki University, and presented “pragmatic steps” towards nuclear disarmament. Kishida said that, “Some nuclear powers have broadly defined the potential use of their nuclear arms. But I believe they must declare that their use should at least be limited to extreme circumstances defined by the right to individual and collective self-defense.” A hibakusha, or atomic bombing survivor, approached him to ask if he is pro nuclear war, the minister clarified that his statement was just an example “as part of discussions in the proves of making what forward steps we can take at present.” Further saying that, “by no means am I saying that Japan will endorse the use of nuclear weapons.”
Nagasaki, which was demolished when it was hit by an atomic bomb attack during the Second World War in 1945, is against the use of nuclear weapons. As one second-generation hibakusha put it, “there is a belief in Nagasaki, which experienced the atomic bombing, that nuclear arms should never be used.” Even using such weapons in certain situations is not acceptable to the locals of Nagasaki as he further said that, “I cannot accept that there is leeway for a limited use.” The U.N. General Assembly First Committee issued a statement regarding the use of nuclear weapons last October. Japan backed the statement then, which said, “it is in the interest of the very survival of humanity that nuclear weapons are never used again, under any circumstances.” Former Nagasaki University President, 88-year old Hideo Tsuchiyama, however, remains unconvinced that Japan would push for a nuclear-free nation. “I cannot find any determination (in Kishida’s remark) that Japan will take the initiative toward abolishing nuclear arms,” he said.
[via Asahi Shimbun]
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