Mayors of A-bombed cities respond with regret to Japan-India nuclear pact

On December 12, when the governments of Japan and India reached a tentative nuclear agreement, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui and Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue, who had demanded an end to the negotiations, responded by saying, “It is extremely regrettable that the wishes of the A-bombed cities were not heeded.”

Commenting on the agreement with India, which possesses nuclear weapons but has not joined the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), Mr. Matsui said, “It’s hard to say that the Japanese government is supporting its position of not allowing the NPT regime to be watered down.” The Hiroshima mayor again urged the Japanese government not to conclude the agreement until India joins the NPT.

Mr. Taue urged the Japanese government to “sincerely take in the sentiments of the A-bomb cities and fulfill its responsibility as the A-bombed nation.”

On December 9, the two mayors submitted letters to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, urging them to cancel negotiations involving the nuclear agreement, stressing that the deal could become an obstacle to nuclear abolition and expressing concerns that the technology intended for nuclear power plants could be used for military purposes.

(Originally published on December 13, 2015)