For Immediate Release


Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Is Kerry's Hiroshima Visit Cover for Nuclear Buildup?

USA Today reports that Secretary of State John Kerry "became the highest-ranking U.S. diplomat to visit the Hiroshima Peace Park, located at ground zero for the first of two atomic bombs dropped by the United States on Japanese cities near the end of World War II. An estimated 140,000 Japanese died in the Aug. 6, 1945, bombing."
    Steinbach is one of the founding members of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Peace Committee of the National Capital Area. For decades, Steinbach has organized trips of Hibakusha -- Japanese atomic bomb survivors -- to the U.S. to commemorate the U.S. using nuclear weapons against Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He also engages in other efforts to educate people in the U.S. and around the world about the attacks and nuclear policy, such as sending U.S. students to Japan. 

    The Committee released a statement today: "While many are applauding Secretary Kerry's visit, we have profound concerns that this visit may be used as cover. These stem from a knowledge of the U.S. government having embarked on a massive nuclear weapons build up.
    "It is reported that Secretary Kerry called his visit 'gut-wrenching' and wrote: 'It is a stark, harsh, compelling reminder not only of our obligation to end the threat of nuclear weapons, but to re-dedicate all our effort to avoid war itself' in a guest book at the memorial.
    "We certainly agree with the sentiments -- and we wish current U.S. policy reflected those priorities. The actual context is that the U.S. is engaged in an unprecedented nuclear build up. It is spending $1 trillion dollars over the next 30 years to 'modernize' its nuclear weapons arsenal. This includes creating smaller, 'more usable' weapons. Such visits cannot be allowed to act as a fig leaf for such threatening policies. The Obama administration has clearly turned its back on its stated goal of abolishing nuclear weapons. 
    "While there have been reductions in the U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons arsenals, there are still approximately 15,000 nuclear weapons, the vast majority held by the U.S. and Russia. 
     "Moreover, NATO is expanding, posing the threat of a direct confrontation with Russia. The U.S. has continued its wars in the Mideast. Climate change is resulting in instability and resource wars may well lead to more conflicts. The 'Doomsday Clock' of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is still set to 3 minutes. 
    "A high U.S. official visiting Hiroshima is long overdue, but hardly enough. We think of the 250,000 who died instantly in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the thousands more who perished in the agonizing aftermath and the many Hibakusha who have passed away in the 71 years since the U.S. used nuclear weapons there. We cannot allow choreographed, purely symbolic gestures to obscure continuing U.S. government policies which pose a grave threat to humanity." 
See: "The Trillion Dollar Question the Media Have Neglected to Ask Presidential Candidates," which states: "Isn’t it rather odd that America’s largest single public expenditure scheduled for the coming decades has received no attention in the 2015-2016 presidential debates?

"The expenditure is for a thirty-year program to 'modernize' the U.S. nuclear arsenal and production facilities. Although President Obama began his administration with a dramatic public commitment to build a nuclear weapons-free world, that commitment has long ago dwindled and died."

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