原爆忌 核の脅威阻止へ不断の努力を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Aug. 7, 2012)
Ceaseless efforts must be made to prevent nuclear threat
原爆忌 核の脅威阻止へ不断の努力を(8月6日付・読売社説)

Hiroshima and Nagasaki will mark the anniversary of their atomic bombing on Monday and Thursday, respectively. The nation should convey to the world the calamity of the attacks and make a fresh pledge for peace.

It has been 67 years since two atomic bombs were dropped on these two cities. Those who experienced the attacks are now quite old, with their average age nearing 80.

The Hiroshima city government this year started a project to recruit and train next-generation "kataribe," people who will speak about the reality of the bombings to others. The trainees will listen to the experiences of atomic bomb victims and study the historical background of the bombings and the current situation of nuclear weapons, among other things. After finishing the training, they will be officially certified as successors to testify about the experience of the atomic bombing.

It is extremely important to steadily tell future generations about the tragedy of the days the bombings occurred and the ensuing years.


Still many nuclear weapons

U.S. President Barack Obama clearly stated three years ago that the United States has a moral responsibility to realize a "world without nuclear weapons." His speech gave hope to atomic bombing victims.

However, the circumstances surrounding nuclear weapons have by no means turned in a desirable direction.

In February last year, the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty took effect between the United States and Russia, but there are still about 19,000 nuclear warheads around the world. Further reduction of nuclear arms is necessary.

We are also worried about the suspicions that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. Ignoring U.N. Security Council resolutions, Iran has been moving forward with production of enriched uranium, which could lead to the development of nuclear weapons. It has not accepted inspections of suspicious facilities as demanded by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

If de facto nuclear weapons development advances in Iran, which is a member of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the NPT regime itself may be greatly weakened.

North Korea, which has carried out two nuclear tests in the past, this spring test-launched a long-range ballistic missile despite warnings from the international community. The threat of North Korea's nuclear and missile development is constantly increasing.

Given this stark reality, Japan has to depend on the nuclear umbrella of the United States despite being itself a nation that was attacked by nuclear bombs.

But even amid this dilemma, the nation needs to convey to the world the reality of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings and continue its efforts toward arms reduction and nuclear nonproliferation. This is the mission given to Japan.


WMD vs peaceful use of N-power

However, we question why some people have linked their calls for abandoning nuclear power plants to nuclear disarmament and moves for peace since the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant of Tokyo Electric Power Co.

It is true that a nuclear power reactor invites the proliferation of radioactive substances when a major accident occurs. But fundamentally it is strange to argue that weapons of mass destruction and the peaceful use of nuclear power are on the same level.

Nuclear reactor accidents can be prevented if sufficient safety measures are properly taken. It must be rather Japan's responsibility to help improve the safety of nuclear reactors in the world, by taking advantage of lessons learned from the nuclear crisis.

Plenty of calm discussion needs to be held regarding nuclear power plants, from the standpoint of medium- and long-term energy policies.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 6, 2012)
(2012年8月6日01時22分 読売新聞)

by kiyoshimat | 2012-08-08 06:41 | 英字新聞

<< 一体改革法案 党首会談で事態を... 日米防衛相会談 指針改定で安保... >>