HIROSHIMA: Hiroshima Mayor MATSUI Kazumi rejected arguments that possessing nuclear weapons serves as deterrence and said nuclear deterrence poses risks because of the possibility of a catastrophic misunderstanding in a tense situation.
The only way to ensure that a terrible nuclear disaster does not happen is to eliminate nuclear weapons.
“As long as nuclear weapons exist, the potential for vengeance they offer will continue to threaten humankind,” Matsui stated in a recent interview with Arab News Japan at his office in Hiroshima. “Even if the way forward is quite difficult, I think we need to have more diplomatic efforts to show how dangerous their mere possession is and the severe risk that it poses.
Seventy-seven years ago, the United States dropped a single atomic bomb on Hiroshima, which reduced the town to ashes in an instant and ended the lives of innocent people. The hibakusha A-bomb survivors desperately want to avoid a repetition of this.
“Of course, the way to eradicating nuclear weapons is not easy, but Hiroshima City will continue to present the reality of the A-bomb victims, and this will provide information across our national borders. And this will convey our experiences to the next generation.”
When told that Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was surprised that Japan doesn’t mention in the textbooks or in most Hiroshima and Nagasaki events who dropped the Atomic bomb over the two cities, Matsui replied: “Well, I think that depends on President Putin’s viewpoint. In truth, during the war, America damaged Japan, and one might wonder why Japan did not complain more about the United States. President Putin seems to be trying to ask, ‘Who hurt the Japanese people?’ And he wonders why after the war, Japan was not so friendly with Russia. There is much difficult history there. His words are one of the weapons used to try and create allies for Russia, some perhaps more willing than others. We do not want to limit ourselves to criticizing one particular country, whether the US or Russia or someone else. We have not forgotten what happened. But we want to send a much stronger message: That nuclear weapons should not be used.”
The mayor also noted that a certain country, which reportedly had atomic bombs for decades, has largely escaped criticism.