Atomic bomb survivors in Japan criticise change in United States nuclear weapons policy

Tokyo: Associations representing atomic bomb survivors in Japan criticised on Saturday a change in the policy of the US which advocates modernising its atomic arsenal and increasing its launch capacity.

Toshiyuki Mimaki of the Japan Confederation of A-and H-Bomb Sufferers Organisations expressed anger over the change in Washington's strategy, saying it posed an obstacle to global denuclearisation, reported Japan's state broadcaster NHK.

Mimaki said "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".

File image of Toshiyuki Mimaki. Image courtesy: Twitter/@masspeaceaction

File image of Toshiyuki Mimaki. Image courtesy: Twitter/@masspeaceaction

Mimaki, a survivor of the nuclear bombing by the US on Hiroshima on 6 August, 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 9 August, 1945 — said the announcement poured cold water on the historic UN treaty to ban nuclear weapons, adopted last year by over 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 utilise 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 on Friday by the Trump administration is in contrast the one in 2010 by then-President Barack Obama (2009-2017), who sought a reduction in the nuclear arsenal.

Updated Date: Feb 03, 2018 15:43 PM

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