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Letter from Members of Japan's Diet to Obama Regarding Nuclear Issues, February 2010

Published February 19, 2010

This letter from members of Japan's Diet was sent to President Obama and expresses their " 'moral responsibility' to support your efforts for the abolition of nuclear weapons with all our strength". The letter was obtained by ForeignPolicy.com.

February 19, 2010

President Barack H. Obama

The White House

Washington, DC 20500

United States of America

 

Dear President Obama,

We are writing to you as members of the Diet of Japan, the only country to have experienced nuclear bombings.

In your speech in Prague in April last year, you renewed your pledge to work for “a world without nuclear weapons,” which was one of your election campaign promises. In the speech, you also stated that “as the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act” toward the abolition of nuclear weapons. We believe your statement is very important and has historical significance both for the people of the country that experienced nuclear devastation and for humanity more generally.

This year will be very important in terms of taking concrete steps toward the goal you stated. There will be a nuclear security summit in April and the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference in May. Prior to those events, the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), which will guide the nuclear policy of your country, is scheduled to be submitted to Congress.

As members of the Diet of the only country to have experienced nuclear bombings, we believe we have “a moral responsibility” to support your efforts for the abolition of nuclear weapons with all our strength, and declare that:

·         We fully support the policy objectives of moving toward a world without nuclear weapons as outlined in your speech in Prague in April 2009.

·         We strongly desire that the United States immediately adopt a declaratory policy stating that the “sole purpose” of U.S. nuclear weapons is to deter others from using such weapons against the United States or U.S. allies, in accordance with the recommendation of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (ICNND) Report.

·         We are firmly convinced that Japan will not seek the road toward possession of nuclear weapons if the U.S. adopts a “sole purpose” policy.

·         We strongly desire that U.S. nuclear policy should exclude any option that would violate Japan’s “Three Non-Nuclear Principles”.

·         We support your efforts to conclude a new START agreement with Russia mandating significant reductions in each country’s deployed strategic forces.

·         We support your efforts to quickly ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and to negotiate a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT).

We hope that our declaration will contribute to your policy decisions. In closing, we pray that the friendship between Japan and the United States will continue to grow.

Sincerely yours,

Signatories:

XXXX                         YYYY                         ZZZZ

cc:   Vice President Joe Biden

The Honorable Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State

The Honorable Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense

The Honorable Carl Levin, Chairman, U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services

The Honorable John McCain, Ranking Member, U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services

The Honorable John Kerry, Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

The Honorable Richard Lugar, Ranking Member, U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

The Honorable Ike Skelton, Chairman, U.S. House Armed Services Committee

The Honorable Howard P. McKeon, Ranking Member, U.S. House Armed Services Committee

The Honorable Howard L. Berman, Chairman, U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs

The Honorable Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Ranking Member, U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs

General James L. Jones, USMC (ret.), Assistant to the President for National Security

 

Questions or comments regarding this Declaration should be directed to:

Mr. Hideo Hiraoka, Member of the House of Representatives

Rm. 341 Shugiin-Daini Giinkaikan

2-1-2, Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku

Tokyo 100-8962 Japan

 

 

 

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