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Nothing can justify nuclear war

 August 26, 2015

Former U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry calls for abolition of nuclear weapons



HIROSHIMA -- Former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry called for the abolition of nuclear weapons in an interview with the Mainichi Shimbun on Aug. 25 during a visit to Hiroshima, where the atomic bomb was dropped 70 years ago.

"The bombing of Hiroshima probably saved millions of lives, both Americans and Japanese, because the alternative that we had planned was the invasion of mainland Japan," Perry said, but added, "There's no discounting the fact that a bomb this destructive is an affront to humanity, and we should find a way of eliminating it."

Perry, 87, characterized the use of nuclear weapons as "inhumane," and argued, "There's no circumstance, I think, which would justify a nuclear war."

"Hiroshima is a symbol of that," he said.

In 2007, Perry, along with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and two others, published an article calling for "a world free of nuclear weapons," which is said to have influenced President Barack Obama's policy toward nuclear weapons.

Asked about the state of international society today, Perry said progress was made for several years after the article was released in 2007, but then things took a negative turn. "We are in danger of more (nuclear) proliferation ... I think the situation today is more dangerous now than it was then."

Perry said that many steps need to be taken toward reducing the nuclear threat, but that bringing the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) into force as soon as possible is the most important. Neither the U.S. nor China has ratified the CTBT.

As for a possible visit to Hiroshima by President Obama during his stay in Japan for the Ise-Shima Summit next May, Perry was hopeful. "I think it's an opportunity for him to make a very powerful message."

As a panelist at the opening session of the 25th annual United Nations Conference on Disarmament Issues in Hiroshima on Aug. 26, Perry pointed out that nuclear weapons went unused during the Cold War due to a combination of management and luck. The reason nuclear disarmament has failed to gain momentum, he explained, is because many people did not know the horrors of nuclear weapons. More people should visit Hiroshima, he said.


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