Hiroshima mayor protests

Tadatoshi Akiba, Mayor of Hiroshima, wrote the following letter of protest, addressed to United States President George Bush and dated April 21, 2003.

I have received a report that your administration has submitted to Congress a 2004 Defense Authorization Bill that requests funds for the development of small nuclear weapons with a yield of five kilotons or less, which development has been prohibited since 1993, and that would repeal the Furse-Spratt prohibition on the development of such weapons.

This clear indication that the United States intends to develop small nuclear weapons raises the horrifying spectre that nuclear weapons will actually be used.
As mayor of the A-bombed city Hiroshima, I am outraged by the barbarism that has led you not only to attack Iraq, killing or injuring thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens, but also to develop new nuclear weapons. You are trampling viciously on the hopes of the vast majority of people around the world who seek peace; and, on behalf of the residents of Hiroshima, I vehemently protest.

Coming as it does on the eve of the U.N. NPT Review Conference Preparatory Committee, this announcement, together with statements regarding the necessity of resuming underground testing and rapidly developing new tactical nuclear weapons, represents an extremely regrettable frontal attack on the process of nuclear disarmament.

I demand that you immediately begin demonstrating a willingness to implement the "unequivocal undertaking" to eliminate your nuclear arsenal, promised at the previous NPT Review Conference, take a clear decision to terminate all nuclear testing, and devote the full strength of your great country to achieving a genuinely peaceful 21st century, free from nuclear weapons.

Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba has written many other commentaries on various issues over the past few years. They may be seen at the Hiroshima website http://www.city.hiroshima.jp/index-E.html .