Hiroshima Bomb Survivors to Obama: ‘Come Stand Here’ – Asahi Shimbun, Japan
Is there some way for the idealistic vision of a total abolition of nuclear weapons to take hold in the real world of global politics? In one of a series of articles we’ve posted on the 65th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, this editorial from Japan’s Asahi Shimbun, heralds President Obama’s decision to send an American ambassador to a ceremony at the site of the world’s first atomic bombing as an historic opening.
The Asahi Shimbun editorial says in part:
A new wind is beginning to blow.
U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos attended the peace memorial ceremony on Friday to commemorate the 65th anniversary of Hiroshima’s atomic bombing. This was the first time that an ambassador from the country that dropped the atomic bomb attended the ceremony. Two other nuclear powers, Britain and France also sent envoys for the first time. The Hiroshima city government has been sending invitations to the nuclear powers for 12 years. At long last, its efforts are bearing fruit.
In a speech delivered in Prague in April 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama expressed his determination to create “a world without nuclear weapons.” Never before has the momentum for nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation been as great as it is now.
We must take advantage of this trend to encourage moves toward the abolition of nuclear weapons.
Up until now, the idealistic vision of eliminating nuclear weapons was embraced by the country that suffered the atomic attacks, but that was never joined with the realism of nuclear deterrence, which was advocated by the nuclear powers. There is also the fact that Japan is now protected by the U.S. “nuclear umbrella.”
The will of civil society, including the survivors, has never been taken into account by the extremely political nature of nuclear strategy. Idealism and realism seemed destined to forever remain apart. But now, a tiny contact point is about to form.
To prevent the anti-nuclear trend from becoming a passing fad, we must work out a process for abolishing nuclear weapons and turn that into actual policy. Moreover, with persistent diplomatic negotiations, we must form a net to encircle the nuclear powers.
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