Letters sent to the G8 speakers call for nuclear abolition

by Hiromi Morita, Staff Writer

The Hiroshima Alliance for Nuclear Weapons Abolition (HANWA), a Hiroshima citizens’ group, announced on August 27 that they had sent letters calling for nuclear abolition to the lower house speakers of the G8 nations, who are set to gather in Hiroshima on September 2 for the G8 Speakers’ Summit. The letters to the nuclear-weapons states appeal for decisive action in regard to nuclear abolition and the letter to the U.S. also asks for an apology for the dropping of the atomic bombs.

The letters were addressed to the lower house speakers of the G8 nations and the President of the European Parliament, noting the inhuman nature of the atomic bombings and the survivors’ sentiments. In the letter to Nancy Pelosi, the U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives, HANWA pointed out that “the U.S. government has never offered an official apology” for the dropping of the bombs, and continued, “An apology from a prominent American politician like yourself would therefore be a tremendous consolation for A-bomb survivors and relatives of the victims.”

The letters to Russia and other countries make the appeal that “abolishing nuclear weapons and at the same time reducing military expenditures, is the best strategy to keep your nation and the rest of the world safe and at peace.” Moreover, the letter to Speaker Kono asks him to persuade the nuclear-weapons states to promote disarmament.

Haruko Moritaki, 69, co-chair of HANWA, stated at a press conference held at Hiroshima City Hall, “Hiroshima citizens, including the A-bomb survivors, welcome the Summit of Lower House Speakers as we all hold high expectations for this meeting. We hope that the participants will squarely face the history of Hiroshima and that their policies in the future will reflect what they experience here in our city.”

(Originally published on August 28, 2008)

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