Truman’s grandson welcomes Japan’s support for joint statement on nuclear weapons

by Keiichiro Yamamoto, Staff Writer, in New York

On October 21, the Chugoku Shimbun spoke to Clifton Truman Daniel, 56, on Japan’s decision to support, for the first time, a joint statement which opposes the use of nuclear weapons. Mr. Daniel, the grandson of Harry S. Truman, the former U.S. president who ordered the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, said he welcomed this development. “This is a significant step forward,” he said. “It’s important that Japan has clarified its position.”

Mr. Daniel also gave a positive review of the statement. “Although it doesn’t include a call for the immediate elimination of nuclear weapons, the contents are appropriate,” he said, adding that he hopes the number of nations endorsing the statement will continue to grow. Regarding Japan’s security policy, which relies on the U.S. nuclear umbrella, he criticized deterrence as a very dangerous idea.

On this day, Mr. Daniel spoke to about 100 students at a high school on Staten Island, in New York City, with Setsuko Thurlow, 81, a resident of Canada and a survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Ms. Thurlow asked the students to imagine how inhuman the bombing was, holding a cloth which bore the names of 351 junior high school classmates who died in the A-bomb blast.

The school visit was organized by Hibakusha Stories, a U.S. organization advocating nuclear abolition. Nicole Zernov, 14, a student at the school, said, “A lot more people in the world should hear the stories of the A-bomb survivors.”

(Originally published on October 23, 2013)