NAGUMO Speaks! RENGO's Statement by General Secretary
Protest against Subcritical Nuclear Test by the United States
13 October 2010
It was made clear on October 12 that the United States of America carried out a subcritical nuclear test at a nuclear test site in Nevada State on September 15. The test carried out this time was the 24th one of its kind to this day with the last one in August 2006 and the 1st one under President Obama administration. The Japanese Trade Union Confederation (RENGO-JTUC) which has made every effort for realizing a world without nuclear weapons as citizens of the sole country that was subjected to nuclear bombs, truly regrets the test and strongly protests against it.
The United States Department of Energy contended and emphasized that the subcritical nuclear test was aimed at collecting data essential for maintaining safety and reliability of nuclear weapons and did not violate the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) because it did not accompany nuclear explosion. Regardless of the rationale, the fact remains that the test was carried out for nuclear weapons which have the potential to exterminate humanity. Any nuclear weapons as “usable weapons” are impermissible.
President Obama’s speech made in Prague in April 2009 in which he expressed that concrete measures should be taken toward a world without nuclear weapons as well as the agreement between the U.S. and Russia on the reduction of strategic nuclear weapons were appreciated as a first step toward elimination of nuclear weapons from all over the world and heightened the expectation for global peace. In addition, 2009 Nobel Peace Prize was just awarded to President Obama in appreciation for his “achievement to have promoted international cooperative foreign policy”, especially for his initiative for diplomatic negotiations for extermination of nuclear weapons. Moreover, the United Nations Review Conference on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) held in New York in May 2010 unanimously adopted a final document toward “a world without nuclear weapons”.
It is regrettable that the subcritical nuclear test carried out this time should be blamed as turning the tide of global peace backward and leading to hollowing out of CTBT. Moreover, Obama administration, while claiming to be positive in nuclear arms reduction, made clear of its policy to maintain nuclear forces as long as nuclear weapons exist, and declared to continue subcritical nuclear tests to “maintain reliability of nuclear weapons”. This should be said to be a grave challenge to the international opinions which hope for global peace.
We earnestly call on the U.S. to return to the spirit of the CTBT and work to promote the ratification of the treaty so that it is put into effect with satisfactory number of the parties to the treaty required for its coming into effect. Also, we pressure the U.S. to sincerely listen to the voices throughout the world calling for the elimination of nuclear weapons and to immediately halt all nuclear tests, including subcritical nuclear tests.