Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki call for India to join the NPT

by Hiromi Morita, Staff Writer

In response to the U.S.-India nuclear pact, which permits the U.S. to supply India, a non-member state of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), with technology and fuel for nuclear power plants, the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki submitted a letter to Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda on July 30. The letter of request, signed by Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba and Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue, urges Prime Minister Fukuda to press for India’s membership in the NPT.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is set to discuss inspection of the nuclear sites in India, a condition of the pact, at an emergency meeting of the Board on August 1. The letter of request, submitted in advance of this meeting, contends that approval of the pact amounts to giving India permission to possess nuclear weapons, a serious setback to the world’s effort to abolish nuclear weapons.

The letter of request calls for the Japanese government to play a leading role, as an IAEA Board Member, in barring nuclear assistance to states which have not signed the NPT or CTBT (Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty).

Takao Shimamoto, Director General of the Citizens Affairs Bureau of Hiroshima, submitted the letter of request to the Arms Control and Disarmament Division of Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

(Originally published on July 31, 2008)