Hiroshima, Nagasaki protest US nuclear test

JAPANESE officials from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the world’s only cities to have been hit by atomic bombs, expressed their outrage and regret Thursday at a US nuclear test conducted last month.

The US government said on Tuesday that it had carried out a subcritical nuclear test, which does not entail a chain reaction for a nuclear explosion, at a Nevada underground test site in September.

“I am outraged by your trampling on the expectations and hopes of the A-bomb survivors and the vast majority of the Earth’s inhabitants,” Hiroshima mayor Tadatoshi Akiba said in a protest letter sent to the US embassy in Japan.

“On behalf of the A-bombed city of Hiroshima, I vehemently protest.”

Hiroshima has received no reply from the embassy, the officials said.

Nagasaki mayor Tomihisa Taue said in a statement on his website: “The experiment is a reversal from an international trend for a world without nuclear weapons. I feel extreme regret.”

Mr Taue also planned to send a letter of protest to the US embassy as early as Thursday, Nagasaki city officials said.

It was the first subcritical nuclear test since US President Barack Obama took office in January 2009. President Obama has promoted his vision of a world free of nuclear arms, which helped win him last year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

US Ambassador John Roos visited the two western Japanese cities separately this year as the nation commemorated the 65th anniversary of the World War II nuclear bombings that killed more than 210,000 people.

The United States dropped a uranium bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, killing an estimated 140,000 people, and then three days later dropped a plutonium bomb on Nagasaki, killing another 70,000.

Japan surrendered to the Allies within days, bringing an end to World War II.

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