Hiroshima citizens’ group sends statement opposing negotiations for Japan-India nuclear deal to Japanese prime minister

On May 20, the A-bombed city of Hiroshima expressed strong indignation and opposition to the Japanese government’s intention to resume negotiations with India, a non-signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) in possession of nuclear weapons, in connection with a nuclear energy deal that will enable Japan to provide India with the latest nuclear power technology.

The possibility exists that the renewed export of nuclear-related equipment and nuclear technology to India will end up contributing to nuclear proliferation. On May 20, the Hiroshima Alliance for Nuclear Weapons Abolition (HANWA), a citizens’ group, sent a statement opposing the conclusion of the deal to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe by fax and email.

Haruko Moritaki, 74, co-chair of HANWA, said, “If India obtains new technology, tension will grow in Pakistan.” She expressed indignation, saying, “The A-bombed nation’s actions are set to pose a serious threat to the goal of nuclear abolition.”

Sunao Tsuboi, 88, the chairman of the Hiroshima Prefectural Confederation of A-bomb Sufferers Organizations, shared a similar worry, saying, “This is extremely dangerous. The deal could end up fueling the development of nuclear weapons.” Kazuo Okoshi, 73, secretary general of the other faction of the Hiroshima Prefectural Confederation of A-bomb Sufferers Organizations, chaired by Kazushi Kaneko, declared, “The government is putting economic interests ahead of people’s lives.”

Shoji Kihara, 64, representative of “No Nukes Hiroshima,” a citizens’ group, pointed out that as Japan is still in the process of shedding light on the cause of the nuclear accident at the Fukushima No. 1 (Daiichi) nuclear power plant, the nation should now be focused on resolving the issues raised by Fukushima. He criticized the Japanese government sharply, saying, “Resuming these negotiations is an extremely irresponsible act.”

(Originally published on May 21, 2013)