Japan-India Nuclear Cooperation: CNIC Protest Letter

Prime Minister Naoto Kan
Minister for Foreign Affairs Katsuya Okada
Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry Masayuki Naoshima
Chairman of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission Shunsuke Kondo

Japanese Nuclear Cooperation with India Represents Support for Nuclear Proliferation

On June 28 the Kan Administration began negotiations towards conclusion of a nuclear cooperation agreement between Japan and India.

When it first embarked on a nuclear energy program, Japan articulated its fundamental policy in the Atomic Energy Basic Law as follows:

“The research, development and utilization of nuclear power shall be limited to peaceful purposes, shall aim at ensuring safety, shall be performed independently under democratic administration, and the results obtained shall be made public and shall actively contribute to international cooperation.”

The Kan Administration is on the verge of abandoning this policy.

When Japan decided to develop nuclear power, despite having endured the indescribably painful experience of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, an absolute condition was that it would be “limited to peaceful purposes”. To make light of, or to forget this historical fact is unacceptable, regardless of any changes that may have occurred in the international order and economic circumstances.

India developed nuclear weapons in defiance of international opinion. It refuses to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and has turned its back on international efforts towards nuclear abolition. It possesses nuclear reactors for weapons purposes, as well as for civilian purposes. Its weapons and civilian programs are not clearly separated. Indeed, it is impossible to completely separate military and civilian workers, education, technology and equipment within a single country.

If Japan concludes a nuclear cooperation agreement with India on the grounds that other countries – including the United States, Russia and France – have done so, or because it is in Japan’s commercial interest to do so, it will become impossible to prevent nuclear proliferation. We will be doomed to repeat the tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

In 1953, in the midst of tense relations between the United States and the USSR, United States President Eisenhower proclaimed the “peaceful uses of atomic energy”. However, this was a big hypothesis. In the years that followed, proliferation did not abate. The facts suggest that nuclear energy cannot be restricted to “peaceful uses”.

For 35 years the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center has warned that the illusion of the “peaceful uses” of nuclear energy could actually damage prospects for a peaceful and sustainable human future.

At the very least, Japan should revert to the basic position it has taken until now and refrain from engaging in nuclear cooperation with India.

We call on all people connected with this matter to heed this warning.

June 29, 2010

Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center
Co-Directors Yukio Yamaguchi, Baku Nishio, Hideyuki Ban

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

You may also like...