|Chugoku Shimbun Peace News|
|Non-nuclear principles to be reviewed
Anger in Hiroshima vented in sit-in protests and letters
A top government official announced that the three non-nuclear principles that guide national policy will be reviewed. Then, nuclear superpower U.S.A. announced that it will resume production of plutonium pits. With military tension between India and Pakistan mounting, these reports bringing bad news to the nuclear weapons abolition movement are raising the volume of angry voices and spawning protests in the A-bombed city of Hiroshima.
About 80 peace activists and second-generation A-bomb victims responded to a call from Hiroshima Prefectural Gensuikin (Japan Congress against A and H bombs) and the prefectural Peace Movement Center to gather in front of the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims in Naka-ku, Hiroshima at 6:00 p.m. for a sit-in protest.
Yasuo Miyazaki of the prefectural chapter of Gensuikin said angrily, "The official's statement is an expression of the dangerous idea that nuclear weapons are usable. They are even contemplating a revision of the Constitution. "Shudo University Professor Mitsuo Okamoto, representative of the Hiroshima Alliance for Nuclear Weapons Abolition, said, "The government is watching to see how the people react. This is the time to raise our voices."
At the end of the sit-in, an appeal demanding retraction of the statement that the three non-nuclear principles would be reconsidered was read. The appeal was sent on June 2nd to the administration and the three ruling coalition parties.
The prefectural Gensuikyo (Japan Council against A and H bombs) and Hidankyo (Japan Confederation of A and H Bomb Sufferers Organizations) (Chairman of the Board of Directors: Kazushi Kaneko) sent a protest letter to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. "When we think about the victims of war and especially the atomic bombing, we can't help but feel rage. "The letter asked the government official who made the statement to "take unequivocal measures. "The two organizations will join others in a sit-in protest in front of the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims on June 3rd. The All Japan Teachers and Staff Union Hiroshima also sent a protest letter.
Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba said, "..this comment can only lead to the conclusion that the ultimate goal of this administration is for Japan to become a nuclear-weapon state. "He asked the administration to steadfastly hold to the three non-nuclear principles and work for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
Criticism and protests are also mounting regarding the U.S. plan to build a new plant for manufacturing plutonium pits. Ken Sakamoto, general secretary of the prefectural Gensuikin, said, "The pits will be produced for the same reason they conduct subcritical nuclear tests: to prepare for using nuclear weapons. These moves take all our efforts for nuclear abolition and turn them to ashes. "The Hiroshima Alliance for Nuclear Weapons also sent protest letters to the prime minister and others on the 1st.
Japan could reconsider 3 nonnuclear principles
(Caption)Hiroshima residents carry out a sit-in in front of the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims to call for retraction of the administrationís announcement that it would reconsider the three non-nuclear principles.