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A-bomb survivors outraged at Obama over subcritical nuclear test


By The Mainichi Daily News

Victims of atomic bombings expressed their disappointment at U.S. President Barack Obama after his administration carried out its first subcritical nuclear test last month.

"In a word, we feel betrayed. We strongly object to any kind of nuclear testing by any government for any cause, and it was unacceptable," said Sunao Tsuboi, 85, chairman of the Hiroshima Prefectural Confederation of A-bomb Sufferers Organizations.

Haruko Moritaki, 71, co-director of the Hiroshima Alliance for Nuclear Weapons Abolition (HANWA), also criticized Obama, saying, "It was a sign that the U.S. government is poised to maintain its nuclear development and capability while advocating a world without nuclear weapons. Such a contradiction is unforgivable. Furthermore, his approach can give countries like India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea an excuse to hold onto their nuclear arsenals."

Sumiteru Taniguchi, the 81-year-old chairman of the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Survivors Council, did not hide his anger with Obama, saying, "He was even awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. What was that all about? How will the U.S. government apologize to A-bomb survivors?"

Taniguchi visited New York earlier in May and called for the abolition of nuclear weapons during the review conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

Sakue Shimohira, 75, who visited New York along with Taniguchi, is also disappointed.

"Victims of nuclear weapons will continue to suffer until their dying breath. We must tell the grim truth about the bombings to the next generation," she said.

Meanwhile, Taeko Hirano, an organizing committee member for the Nagasaki Global Citizens' Assembly for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, is keeping her hopes up.

"It is difficult for the president to lead the military and the defense industry immediately, and he is in a tough situation, too. Still, his remarks about seeking a world without nuclear weapons have great significance. Despite this inconsistency, the U.S. government is certainly getting closer to its ideal," Hirano said.

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