City of Hiroshima urges Japanese government to quit talks with India on nuclear energy agreement

by Michiko Tanaka, Staff Writer

On May 24, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui sent letters to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, urging them not to continue negotiations involving a nuclear energy agreement between Japan and India.

The agreement would enable Japan to provide nuclear technology to India, a nuclear weapon state. Mr. Matsui’s letters point out that, because India is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), concluding the agreement could serve to help undermine the NPT regime. The letters stress that there is no persuasive case for this agreement and further negotiations should be scrapped. Mr. Matsui goes on to call for Japan to stand at the forefront of nuclear disarmament and nuclear abolition efforts.

Takuo Takigawa, director of the Tokyo Office of Hiroshima City Hall, delivered the letters to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mr. Abe is expected to agree to resume talks on the nuclear agreement when he meets with Manmohan Singh, the prime minister of India, on May 29. The City of Hiroshima, along with the City of Nagasaki, also sent letters to the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in July 2010, demanding that these negotiations between the two nations be canceled.

(Originally published on May 25, 2013)