At the memorial ceremony to commemorate the 68th anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki and in the presence of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Mayor Tomihisa Taue was vocal about his criticism of the Japanese government for failing to do their part in opposing nuclear weapons. He reminded people twice in his Peace Declaration that Japan is the only country to have been victimized by a nuclear bombing.
He cited the fact that Tokyo refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty last April as “betraying the expectations of global society” and gives the message that Japan still supports the use of nuclear weapons under specific circumstances. He also expressed concern about the Japan-India talks about a nuclear cooperation agreement, given the fact that India is a nuclear power who has not signed the treaty. He said moves like this will give North Korea “an excuse to justify” its own nuclear development projects, something that Japan is strongly opposing.
Abe said during the ceremony that Japan is committed to eradicating nuclear weapons, just like what he said at the Hiroshima memorial ceremony three days before. He explained that the reason why they have not signed the treaty is due to the fact that Japan is facing “the severe reality in which North Korea has been implementing nuclear development,” but adds that they support the basic idea behind the statement.
Taue also called on US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin to make a commitment to drastically reduce their nuclear weapons. At present, the two countries own almost 90% of the nuclear warheads that still exist. He stressed that it is important that the people who experienced first or second-hand the devastation that the atomic bomb brought to their lives should continue to share this pain with the future generation to ensure that this will never happen again.
[ via The Mainichi ]