U.S. responds to letter of protest from Hiroshima against subcritical nuclear test

by Yumi Kanazaki, Staff Writer

The City of Hiroshima announced that it has received a reply to the letter of protest sent by Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba to U.S. President Barack Obama last October in response to that nation’s subcritical nuclear test. The same reply was received by Hiroshima Prefecture in response to another letter of protest sent by Hiroshima Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki.

Both letters, dated January 6, were sent by Robert Luke, Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, and arrived on January 11.

The reply states, in part: “As part of its effort to maintain the safety, security and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear stockpile without conducting underground nuclear tests, the National Nuclear Security Administration conducted a subcritical experiment. … As the size of the U.S. nuclear stockpile continues to be reduced, it is important to ensure the safety, security and effectiveness of the shrinking stockpile. Subcritical experiments produce essential scientific data and technical information.” The reply sought to justify the subcritical nuclear test and suggested that the United States will continue to conduct such tests.

According to the City of Hiroshima, letters of protest have been sent to the United States in response to every type of nuclear test the nation has conducted. Signed by each current mayor, the number of letters has reached 232. The latest reply from the United States is the tenth, and the first reply since April 2006.

(Originally published on January 14, 2011)

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