Strong calls for Japan to oppose U.S.-India nuclear deal

by Masakazu Domen, Staff Writer

A-bomb survivors’ organizations and anti-nuclear organizations visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo on August 19, after the Japanese government indicated that they would condone the U.S.-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement. The organizations demanded that “Japan, as an A-bombed nation, should show courage and oppose the agreement.”

Eight organizations, including the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations and the Japan Council Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs, joined together to express opposition to the government’s stance, with each submitting a letter of protest that admonished, “Sanctioning this agreement will lead to the collapse of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) regime.” But Yasutoshi Nishimura, parliamentary vice-minister for Foreign Affairs, responded that, “The government has not decided to condone the agreement. Rather, the issue is being discussed so as not to undermine the NPT regime.”

Terumi Tanaka, secretary general of the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations, urged a change in policy at a press conference after meeting with government officials, saying, “It is only natural that Japan, an A-bombed nation, should oppose this agreement.”

Three organizations--the Japan Congress Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs, the National Council for Peace and Against Nuclear Weapons, and the Japanese Trade Union Confederation--jointly submitted a letter of protest to Masahiko Komura, Minister of Foreign Affairs. In the letter they demanded that Japan oppose the agreement, stating, “The agreement could be used as an excuse by Pakistan, North Korea, and Iran to move forward with their own nuclear programs.”

(Originally published on August 20, 2008)

Protests in Hiroshima over U.S.-India nuclear deal

by Shunsaku Iwanari, Staff Writer

A series of protests were staged in Hiroshima on August 19, following news of the Japanese government’s stance of condoning the U.S. move to provide nuclear-related technology to India

About 50 people, including members of the Hiroshima Peace Action Center and the Hiroshima Congress Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs, sat in protest in front of the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims in Peace Memorial Park. The organization also sent a letter of protest urging the Japanese government to oppose the U.S.-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement.

Takashi Mukai, representative of the Hiroshima Congress Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs, declared with resolve, “As the only A-bombed nation, Japan is in a position to lead the movement for nuclear weapons abolition. We must enlarge the circle of protest from the A-bombed cities.”

The Hiroshima Prefectural Confederation of A-bomb Sufferers Organizations, chaired by Kazushi Kaneko, and the Hiroshima Council Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs sent their letters of protest by facsimile to the Prime Minister’s Office. Regarding the provision of nuclear-related technology to India, which is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT,) the organizations urged the government to express clear-cut opposition to the agreement by stating, “If the Japanese government sanctions this agreement, the NPT regime could collapse, as it makes an already-inequitable treaty even more inequitable.”

(Originally published on August 20, 2008)

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Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura says nuclear agreement will enhance the NPT (Aug. 22, 2008)
Japan to effectively give nod to U.S.-India nuke deal at NSG (Aug. 21, 2008)
Voices raised over Japan condoning the U.S.-India Nuclear Agreement (Aug. 21, 2008)