TOKYO – Associations representing atomic bomb survivors in Japan – the only country to have faced nuclear attacks – criticized on Saturday a change in the policy of the United States which advocates modernizing its atomic arsenal and increasing its launch capacity.
Toshiyuki Mimaki of the Japan Confederation of A-and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations expressed anger over the change in Washington’s strategy, saying it posed an obstacle to global denuclearization, according to Japan’s state broadcaster NHK.
Mimaki said that if the president of a global power such as the US wanted to increase and modernize its nuclear capacities, the survivors of the atomic bombings in Japan will never see a world without nuclear weapons.
Mimaki, a survivor of the nuclear bombing by the US on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, said that these weapons do not make the world a safer place and should never be used.
Koichi Kawano, leader of Hibakuren, a survivor group based in Nagasaki – which suffered a nuclear attack on Aug. 9, 1945 – said the announcement poured cold water on the historic UN treaty to ban nuclear weapons, adopted last year by more than 120 countries.
Kawano warned that the new US strategy, which seeks to develop smaller nuclear arms, could lower the bar for the use of such weapons and raise the likelihood of nuclear war.
He also urged the Japanese government to utilize the US presence in Japan to intensify its diplomatic efforts to prevent such a scenario.
However, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono in a statement welcomed Washington’s move, saying it showed the determination of the US to ensure the effectiveness of dissuasion.
The Nuclear Posture Review of the US, presented Friday by the administration of President Donald Trump is in contrast the one in 2010 by then-President Barack Obama (2009-2017), who sought a reduction in the nuclear arsenal.