Japanese Diet members to send letter to President Obama about reducing the role of nuclear weapons

by Kohei Okata, Staff Writer

A group composed of Diet members of various parties, sharing a common vision, will deliver a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama that calls for reducing the role of nuclear weapons. The letter with the names of the supporters will be delivered through the U.S. Embassy soon.

Hideo Hiraoka of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) from the Yamaguchi Second Constituency, along with other members, called for the initiative. As of February 1, as many as 170 Diet members have signed the letter. The Diet members are from the three ruling coalition parties of the DPJ, the Social Democratic Party and the People's New Party, as well as the opposition parties of the Liberal Democratic Party, New Komeito and the Your Party.

The letter urges the United States to declare that it will limit the role of nuclear weapons to only the role of deterring the use of nuclear weapons targeting the United States and its allies. Under this scenario, the letter states, "We are convinced that Japan would never pursue the path of nuclear armament." The members will make it clear that they endorse treaty negotiations for nuclear disarmament between the United States and Russia, as well as ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) by the United States.

In drafting the letter, Mr. Hiraoka and other members consulted with U.S. experts in the field of nuclear disarmament. As Diet members of the A-bombed nation, they conceived the plan to help back the policies of President Obama for achieving "a world without nuclear weapons."

(Originally published on February 2, 2010)