For Immediate Release
On 71st Anniversary of the U.S. Atomic Bombings of Japan
HIROSHIMA, Japan - On the 71st Anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings (August 6th and 9th), Paul Kawika Martin, the senior director for policy and political affairs for the United State’s largest peace organization, Peace Action, released the following statement from the official Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony at 8:16 AM August 6th (9:16 PM, August 5th, Eastern time):
“On the 71st commemorations of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it's time to reflect on the deaths of hundreds of thousands - mostly civilians. Knowing that current nuclear stockpiles are dozens to one hundred times more powerful than those dropped on Japan, we must ensure that a nuclear weapon is never used again.
“With Russia and the U.S. possessing around 95% of the 15,000 warheads in the world, America holds great responsibility to move the world towards zero nuclear weapons. While President Obama has consistently said he believes in a nuclear weapon free world and has taken some steps such as reducing their role in U.S. security plans, negotiating the New START Treaty and leading several international nuclear security summits, he has reduced nuclear weapon stockpiles the least of all post Cold War Presidents. In the remaining five months of his term, Obama can take steps to live up to his Nobel Peace Prize and his speech given in Prague and most recently in Hiroshima by reducing the dangers of nuclear weapons.
“Some possible steps include:
* Declare No First Use. The U.S. says it is acceptable for it to use nuclear weapons first in certain scenarios.
* Take nuclear weapons off high alert. Currently, nuclear weapons can be launched within minutes putting undue pressure on decision makers and increasing the possibility of launching on bad intelligence.
* Significantly reduce funding for upgrading the U.S. nuclear arsenal. The U.S. cannot afford or do we need to spend $1 trillion on nuclear weapons.
* Reduce our strategic and reserve warheads. Even Pentagon experts agree we can easily reduce to 1,000 or less strategic warheads which would also allow us to reduce the several thousand warheads in reserve.
* Cancel the Long Range Stand Off missile (LRSO). This destabilizing new nuclear cruise missile is duplicative.
* Create a plan for all nuclear-armed states to negotiate complete nuclear disarmament.”
This is Mr. Martin’s fifth trip to Japan as a guest of one of the largest peace groups, Gensuikyo. Also, in Japan is Peace Action’s executive director (who will also tour Okinawa to work with the super majority of locals who oppose the U.S. military bases there) and the student president of the Peace Action chapter at Tufts University.
Founded in 1957, Peace Action (formerly SANE/Freeze), the United States' largest peace and disarmament organization, with over 100,000 paid members and nearly 100 chapters in 36 states, works to abolish nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs, encourage real security through international cooperation and human rights and support nonmilitary solutions to the conflicts with Afghanistan and Iran. The public may learn more and take action at http://www.Peace- Action.org. For more up-to-date peace insider information, follow Peace Action’s political director on Twitter. http://twitter.com/PaulKawika
Mid-Year Campaign: Your Support is Needed Now.
Common Dreams is a small non-profit - Over 90% of the Common Dreams budget comes from reader support. No advertising; no paywalls: our content is free. But our costs are real. Common Dreams needs your help today! If you're a regular reader—or maybe a new one—and you haven't yet pitched in, could you make a contribution today? Because this is the truth: Readers, like you, keep us alive. Please make a donation now so we can continue to work for you.
Founded in 1957, Peace Action, the United States' largest peace and disarmament organization with over 100,000 members and nearly 100 chapters in 34 states, works to achieve the abolition of nuclear weapons, promote government spending priorities that support human needs and encourage real security through international cooperation and human rights.