Hiroshima governor sends letter to presidents of U.S., Russia, urges them to uphold INF Treaty

On February 8, Hiroshima Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki sent a letter to U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, urging the two leaders to uphold the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. There is a strong likelihood that the treaty between the two countries will be terminated within the year. The letter was mailed to the embassies of the United States and Russia in Tokyo.

The letter mentions current conditions in which the two countries possess more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons and says that the abrogation of the treaty may lead to the beginning of a new nuclear arms race and raise the risk of the use of such weapons. In the letter, Mr. Yuzaki, on behalf of the residents of Hiroshima Prefecture, urged the two countries to patiently work out a way to maintain the treaty, since they are signatories of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which stipulates that the nuclear weapon states are obliged to negotiate nuclear disarmament.

Mr. Yuzaki also sent a letter of request to the Foreign Ministry of Japan on February 14. It requests that Foreign Minister Taro Kono, as a representative of the only country to have experienced nuclear attacks in wartime, understand how sincerely Hiroshima’s residents hope to see the elimination of nuclear weapons because of their devastating experience of the atomic bomb, and urges the national government to serve as a bridge in negotiations between the United States and Russia.

(Originally published on February 15, 2019)