Hiroshima Voices: “No Nukes, No War” Jackson Browne, 74, singer-songwriter, resident of the United States
Mar. 17, 2023
Nuclear weapons should never again be used. And the production of nuclear materials has to be phased out over time
Jackson Browne is one of America’s leading singer-songwriters. Known as someone concerned with social issues, Mr. Browne has released numerous songs that sound the alarm about problems such as ocean pollution and racial divisions over a career spanning more than 50 years. He is now on his first tour of Japan in six years. In an interview ahead of his March 22 performance in Hiroshima, he characterized the nuclear issue as his greatest concern at present. Mr. Browne said he would communicate to the Hiroshima audience his anti-nuclear sentiments, which are shared by people in the A-bombed city.
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My concert will weave together a variety of my work, from my earliest to my most recent songs. I’m thinking to start the show off with the song “Before the Deluge” (1974), which involves the theme of nuclear power. My generation grew up believing we were changing the world in the 1960s, when battles were being waged for civil and human rights. Unfortunately, progress has not been made on the nuclear issue, among others.
The nuclear arms race is not over, and the nuclear power issue is still unresolved. Those who profit from nuclear technology claim that nuclear energy will save the planet, because it is clean. But nobody has figured out how to treat the waste. Communities where they are mining the uranium that fuels nuclear power plants are contaminated and devastated.
And now we have the Ukraine conflict. From the beginning of the military invasion, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been threatening the world that Russia could at any time take up nuclear weapons. The more the West opposes the invasion and stands up for what we believe, the greater the number of crazy and myopic ideas will appear rationalizing limited nuclear war. That is a great concern of mine.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki are the sites of the only use of nuclear weapons against a human population. I am moved each time I visit Hiroshima. Upon my first visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, I was devastated by learning how many innocent people were killed in the name of ending World War II with a U.S. victory.
We do not believe in empire. We need leaders that represent the future of humankind. Nuclear weapons should never again be used. And the production of nuclear materials has to be phased out over time. Otherwise, the earth will become uninhabitable.
Environmental issues are becoming serious. The oceans are filling up with plastic. Some people make a fortune mining resources from the deep sea but, at the same time, are ruining that ecosystem. During the Hiroshima Summit, I’m sure the leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized nations will grapple with the most difficult questions facing humankind. I hope they also listen to the opinions of scientists and do what now needs to be done.
(Michiko Tanaka, Senior Staff Writer)