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Obama visits Hiroshima

Greenpeace calls out the President’s ‘double standards’ for a nuclear-free world
Obama visits Hiroshima

Greenpeace welcomed President Obama’s historic visit to Hiroshima just after the G7 meeting – the first ever visit by a sitting US president – but condemned his ‘double-standards’ as his administration works to expand America’s own nuclear capabilities.

‘We welcome President Obama’s attempt to understand the miseries of nuclear warfare, but this visit rings hollow without far bolder efforts to rid the world of nuclear weapons. If the U.S. wants to help build a peaceful world, it is not enough to only visit the ruins of the past.

‘The US administration recently sent to Congress a budget that would invest nearly US$1 trillion in updating and expanding U.S. nuclear weapons capacities, while also cutting funding for nonproliferation efforts. This is wholly unacceptable for a Nobel Peace laureate.’

Deputy Program Director at Greenpeace Japan

4,700 warheads

According to the Federation of American Scientists, the US still has 4,700 operational nuclear warheads – and continues to spend a fortune maintaining and modernising its weapons. The US is not the only one; over 40 years after the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, nuclear-armed states are still clinging to their warheads.

Greenpeace believes that the battle to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons – the first campaign Greenpeace ever engaged in – is as urgent as ever and that we cannot rest until we eliminate nuclear weapons from the world.

Despite what the nuclear industry tells us, building enough nuclear power stations to make a meaningful reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would cost trillions of dollars, create tens of thousands of tons of lethal high-level radioactive waste and contribute to further proliferation of nuclear weapons materials.

In November 2000 the world recognised nuclear power as a dirty, dangerous and unnecessary technology by refusing to give it greenhouse gas credits during the UN Climate Change talks in The Hague. Nuclear power was dealt a further blow when a UN Sustainable Development Conference refused to label nuclear a sustainable technology in April 2001.

Okinawa military base

The US must also address the issue of its military base in Okinawa, which is an ongoing problem with local people – particularly when military personnel are involved in serious crimes.

‘The military base in Henoko is a relic of past conflicts and its expansion ignores the wishes of 80% of local people. It threatens people’s local environment, including the home of 262 rare species such as the endangered Japanese dugong.

‘Building a new air base in Okinawa is not the way to ensure a peaceful future in east Asia. The governments of the US and Japan need to listen to the voices of the Okinawan people to find solutions for long-term peace.The plan for a new base should be cancelled.’

Deputy Program Director at Greenpeace Japan

Click here to find out more about how Greenpeace is challenging nuclear power.

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