27 Octobre 2013
October 25, 2013
Olof Palme, prime minister of Sweden from 1969 to 1976 and then from 1982 until his assassination in 1986, visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in 1981. While in the museum, Palme grew increasingly quiet. He later insisted that all governments of the world should require people in positions of responsibility to visit Hiroshima.
Were this anti-nuclear pacifist statesman alive today, he would certainly be gratified that Japan has finally signed a United Nations statement condemning the inhumanity of nuclear weapons.
Even though Japan experienced two atomic bombings in 1945, it had refused to endorse similar statements, claiming they ran counter to Japan's policy of reliance for its national security on the "nuclear umbrella" provided by the United States.
Signed by 125 countries and presented on Oct. 21 to the U.N. General Assembly First Committee, the Joint Statement on the Humanitarian Consequences of Nuclear Weapons says, "It is in the interest of the very survival of humanity that nuclear weapons are never used again, under any circumstances."
Japan should have signed it sooner. I hope this statement marks the first step toward total nuclear disarmament.
But nuclear weapons still figure prominently in the international community. The U.N. Security Council is dominated by nuclear powers, and nations that have recently joined their ranks are gaining influence, while North Korea's dictatorial regime continues to pose a nuclear threat. However, the world will never change so long as we let this reality remain our excuse for abandoning our ideals.
According to a book written by an Asahi Shimbun reporter, it was well before nuclear weapons became a reality that British writer H.G. Wells (1866-1946) suggested one way to eliminate wars would be to develop weapons to the bitter end. It is as if Wells foresaw the chilling paradox of the theory of nuclear deterrence.
I certainly do not want our world to keep relying on this terrible paradox. "The only way to guarantee that nuclear weapons will never be used again is through their total elimination," says the U.N. statement. This is the truth that will spare the world a third nuclear tragedy, and thereby do right by the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
--The Asahi Shimbun, Oct. 25
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