Dear esteemed H.E. Mr. Ishikane Kimihiro, Permanent Representative of Japan to the U.N.,
Deep gratitude and respect to you.
May I ask you to relay this message to Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide, and Parliamentary Vice-Ministers of Defense Onishi Hrioyuki and Matsukawa Rui. Thank you.
Please forgive me, but I remember well hundreds and sometimes thousands of your citizens coming to NYC in the 1970’s and marching with us up a venues to protest the nuclear arms race. Your citizens over the decades since have come and handed us cranes, and warm human pleas clear in their eyes and outstretched hands, to stop the madness. We listened. We embraced. We gave thanks, and several times the world came very close to nuclear disarmament.
In the 1950’s Norman Cousins helped bring numerous “Hibakusha Maidens” for reconstructive surgery, just a few blocks from where I live. One of my closest friends lost his father, a beloved Major leading a charge off the sands of Iwo Jima. For over 45 years he remains in close contact with the relatives of both the Japanese and American soldiers who fought there and gather to commemorate their lives, and the deep bond of friendship and respect that has formed since.
Japan and the United States remain vital, reliable allies. We have gained too much to measure by working and living together before and since our war, culturally, artistically, intellectually, and economically. Imperfect, we profoundly share in civilizations uplift and have learned invaluable, oft painful lessons together, honoring our sacrifices, and in partnership remain an unfolding example for those who label the other as “enemy”, and choose the chaos, cost and horror of war. We honor sacrifices.
Our peoples know well the paths to safety, to security, to peace, to a better life. So why do we not take that path now on this 76th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? We have before us today a great opportunity, not to be discarded.
We have the international law, The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The majority of both our citizenry, in our respective “democracies”, those who know of the Treaty and what it is, want our respective governments to sign and ratify such a treaty. We have experts in every known profession and field come and testify on its behalf, including retired high ranking military.
Of all countries Japan, you are the only one with such a unique authority on the subject. Lobbying the halls of the U.S. Congress several years ago about nuclear disarmament, I heard repeatedly that our allies (you) want and depend on our nuclear triad. Will you stand up and tell them that you do not believe that nuclear weapons will keep your people safe. That you know a better way to deal with current “adversaries” than threatening them (and ourselves) with obliteration.
By not doing so, you are clearly an indispensable part of the nuclear weapon industry. You are encouraging both the industry and it’s current renewed nuclear arms race that should have ended long ago. Japan, you who the world looks to to know best, are enabling this gravest danger to all life.
For many years I have watched the annual ceremonies at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I see your Prime Minister and Cabinet members one by one come up and make deep bows to the murdered. I see the offerings of water to the Spirits that still thirst. I’ve thought long about why there remains great thirst, and what the nourishment these souls and the living Hibakusha around you are reaching for. Is it not for some resolution? For some healing? For “never again”. Isn’t this the water they ask for?
Japan the words offered by your heads of State I must respectfully say now, ring shallow and false IF you are not moving swiftly toward stopping the insanity of the nuclear arms industry. The water that will certainly bring rejoicing from all these souls is within your grasp. You know what it is, and you will feel the immediate response when doing the right thing.
You can say to the United States, you are dear friends, who we value so highly. We care for you. Would you please start the process of ridding the world of your nuclear weapons. Stop the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policies for our nuclear weapon laden ships in your waters and aircraft on your lands. Do you really believe that expanding our U.S. bases in the region will convince China to say, “OK, since they are building, we will stop”?
Can you help educate American citizens who are still being taught the myth that the atomic bomb won the war, brought peace and saved lives?
Your nation during a worldwide pandemic is hosting what originally was to be a non commercial highlight of civilization: nation’s athletes, each a human story, gathering in sport, in aspiration and dreams, in rugged discipline, encouraging each other toward yet higher goals. For most of us in 2021, the Olympics needs to be about who will win the the greatest Olympic Gold, the Gold helping face our Climate challenge, the most Gold medals for the dire priorities of the greater community of humankind. Will it really be China? Will it be the U.S.A.? Will there be Gold for those who help the most with the continuing grave hemorrhaging threats of Fukushima. I suggest a way this year that the greatest Gold could be given to Japan.
You may have to face up to some Generals and captains of industry, using character traits called courage, wisdom, foresight, but fully behind you will be the people who see a future for humanity. If this city of Wall Street can have the majority of it’s City Council Members support a resolution calling our nation to ratify this Ban Treaty and divest from the industry, then Government of Japan, for August 6th and 9th, please listen to the majority of your citizens, and especially to the Mayors of Nagasaki and Hiroshima urging you to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). They are great lights. Please go for the Gold this week, and offer the water needed.
In appreciation, gratitude,