Hiroshima mayor and governor condemn U.S. subcritical nuclear test

On May 26, in response to news that the United States had conducted a non-explosive subcritical nuclear test in February of this year, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui condemned the U.S. action by saying, “This tramples on the wish of the A-bomb survivors for nuclear abolition.” Mr. Matsui called on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss this issue during his talks with U.S. President Donald Trump, now paying a visit to Japan. Hiroshima Prefecture and other groups sent letters of protest to the U.S. government.

At a press conference, held after Mr. Matsui attended a meeting to discuss the draft for this year’s Peace Declaration, the mayor said that he intends to send a letter of protest to the U.S. government. He explained, “Nuclear tests, even subcritical tests, should never be performed. I would like Mr. Abe to take into consideration the fact that many people in Japan feel this way about nuclear tests, then address this issue.”

In the letter of protest from Hiroshima Prefecture, Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki wrote that the news of the U.S. nuclear test brought more disappointment and distrust to those who wish for nuclear abolition. He referred to current conditions in which the international community will be paying close attention to nuclear disarmament efforts in the future as a result of the discussions that took place at the third session of the Preparatory Committee for next year’s Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, which was held in New York in late April and early May.

The Hiroshima Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs sent a written request to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, too, stating that they would like Mr. Abe, as the leader of the A-bombed nation, to make a spirited protest at the Japan-U.S. summit and call on Mr. Trump to make efforts to advance the abolition of nuclear weapons.

(Originally published on May 27, 2019)