President Obama of the United States visited City of Hiroshima on May 28 after attending the G7 Summit meeting held in Ise-Shima. People paid attention whether he would make an apology for the attack by an atomic bomb over the city in August, 1945, but the point is whether, at the occasion of its President’s visit, the US would lead the world toward a path of elimination of nuclear weapons.
PATH TO ELIMINATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS IS VITAL
A key point that we must not look over is comprehensive responsibility of Japan and the United States which had ultimately reached a point to exert to atomic bombs in the war. The mankind’s first use of nuclear weapons over Hiroshima and Nagasaki can never be exempted of responsibility.
However, we have two points to examine carefully: the first is Japan’s responsibility for the war which was prolonged up until the use of nuclear weapons after the Emperor and military had rejected to accept the Potsdam Declaration. Secondly, the US, taking advantage of the Japan’s refusal of the Declaration as an excuse, it converted the territory of Japan to the first laboratory of weapons of mass destruction that the humankind had obtained.
Article Nine of Constitution and Obama’s Speech in Prague
Taking these points into consideration, the issue cannot be distorted in to a simple sphere of ‘a protest’ and ‘an apology’. Japan had yielded an extraordinary number of victims of war in the Asia-Pacific region and from the experiences it regretted war and proclaimed to the rest of the world Article Nine of the Constitution that the country would renounce a war. Meanwhile, President Obama stated his determination in Prague in April, 2009, to lead a path of elimination of nuclear weapons, explaining moral responsibility for the first use of nuclear weapons.
On the contrary, however, today, the United States is far from taking initiative of nuclear disarmament and elimination of nuclear weapons. Japan revises history and its notion and undermines Article Nine to open a way toward wars, not to mention a review of the Asia-Pacific War.
A hope of Hibakushas, or atomic-bombed survivors, is to prohibit a use of nuclear weapons and is never to produce victims any more. They do not expect the president to express pity and make a lip-service apology. A key point is that the US, the super military power, and Japan, the sole nation bombed with nuclear arms, should fully commit in disarmament and elimination of nuclear weapons. But in reality, the two do not involve in the issue definitely.
Various efforts have been made in the United Nations General Assembly and in the NPT (Non Proliferation Treaty of nuclear weapons) review meetings. In the NPT meeting held in April, 2015, 190 countries attended and the debates lasted for four weeks. A resolution to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki was approved that the Japanese delegates had presented.
Double Standard and Deterrence
The 2015 meeting aborted without reaching the final agreement; it split in terms of the initiative of nuclear free zone in Middle East, which was proposed by Egypt and others during the course of debates on inhumane nature of nuclear weapons. It failed to set a venue to discuss the matter. The US, the United Kingdom and others opposed, fearing that Israel, the sole nuclear nation in the region, might be affected by the initiative. Japan sided with the United States as an ally of the US-Japan Security Treaty and a status to be placed under the US nuclear umbrella.
The US-Japan double standard and deterrence policy dominated the NPT framework, too. What should be done now is that the five countries of the United Nations Security Council renounce the deterrence theory and that we should enhance movements to seek a path of disarmament and elimination of nuclear weapons so that the visit of Hiroshima by President Obama may not converge to a pretentious performance.
June 7, 2016