A-bomb survivors stage sit-in against U.S. nuclear test

by Yumi Kanazaki, Staff Writer

On October 14, such organizations as the Hiroshima Prefectural Confederation of A-bomb Sufferers Organizations and Hiroshima Local of Japanese Trade Union Confederation staged a sit-in protest in front of the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims for about 30 minutes in the early afternoon to express their opposition to the subcritical nuclear test conducted recently by the United States. The test was carried out on September 15, the first such test in four years as well as the first under the Obama administration.

Nearly 90 A-bomb survivors and citizens from organizations including the Hiroshima Congress Against A- and H-Bombs and the Hiroshima branch of the National Council for Peace and Against Nuclear Weapons joined the sit-in. Yukio Itami, president of the Hiroshima Local of Japanese Trade Union Confederation, denounced the test, saying, "Amid ongoing efforts for nuclear abolition, proceeding with such a test is unacceptable."

Sunao Tsuboi, chairman of the Hiroshima Prefectural Confederation of A-bomb Sufferers Organizations, raised his voice to reveal disappointment with U.S. President Barack Obama: "Mr. President, you have betrayed us. I suggest you return your Nobel Peace Prize."

On October 14, the Japan Confederation of A-and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations, for which Mr. Tsuboi serves as co-chairperson, criticized the test and sent a letter of protest addressed to Mr. Obama via the U.S. Embassy in Japan. The letter includes such requests as the start of multilateral negotiations toward the realization of an international treaty to eliminate nuclear weapons.

(Originally published on October 15, 2010)