- Putin tells Merkel that Ukraine is on the brink of civil war
- San Antonio mayor to Obama: Give amnesty to illegals with legal families
- NYPD disbands unit that spied on Muslims to go after ‘real bad guys’
- Donald Rumsfeld has ‘no idea’ if he paid taxes correctly
- Bradley Manning named honorary grand marshal of San Francisco Pride parade
- Look out PayPal: Facebook working toward mobile payments system
- U.S. rebukes Iran’s U.N. envoy pick over 1979 embassy attack
- Stoned mom avoids jail after driving 12 miles with baby on roof
- More than 100 ‘inappropriate’ encounters between NYC school staffers, students since 2009: report
- Joe Biden to Boston bombing survivors: ‘America will never, ever stand down’
Hiroshima governor voices concern about Iran’s nuclear program
On North Korea, whose nuclear weapons have been the focus of international troubleshooting, Mr. Yuzaki said world leaders have no choice but to engage in “patient negotiations.”
The 46-year-old former entrepreneur governs the Japanese province whose capital city was decimated when the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb near the end of World War II.
Today, nuclear disarmament is the centerpiece of Mr. Yuzaki's “Hiroshima for Global Peace” initiative, which brings people from conflict-ridden countries like Afghanistan to Hiroshima to learn conflict resolution. Hiroshima’s scarred history uniquely positions it to lead such an effort, he says.
“Hirsohima is known as a place of tragedy, but when you come to Hirsohima, many people are astonished at the beauty and prosperity of the modern Hiroshima city, which recovered really from ashes,” he said, adding that visitors from conflict zones have been inspired to replicate Hiroshima’s example at home.
The U.S. dropped an atomic bomb over the center of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, three days before it detonated a second over Nagasaki. The blasts killed more than 200,000 Japanese, and the residents of both cities suffered decades of radiation-related illnesses.
Mr. Yuzaki said he rejects the argument that the bombs prevented a bloodier ground invasion.
“I don’t understand it because other historical facts show that the Japanese government would have surrendered anyways,” he said. “I don’t think the lives of many more American soldiers would have been lost if they hadn’t dropped the bombs.”
Since March, his country has been dealing with the aftermath of a 9.0-magnitude earthquake, tsunami and nuclear reactor meltdown that then-Prime Minister Naoto Kan called the “biggest crisis for Japan since World War II.”
About 22,000 Japanese have been listed as dead or missing since the disasters, and recovery-and-reconstruction efforts continue.
“It’s slow, and we are very much frustrated,” Mr. Yuzaki said, adding that local governments “feel direct voices from citizens who want to help” but cannot due to bureacracy.
The tsunami, which precipitated a meltdown at the Fukushima Daichi nuclear plant, sparked a worldwide debate about the safety of nuclear power. Germany responded to the disaster by announcing it will end its use of nuclear energy by 2022.
Mr. Yuzaki said it is not feasible for Japan, which derives some 30 percent of its electricity needs from 54 nuclear reactors, to follow Germany’s lead in the short term.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ben Birnbaum is a reporter covering foreign affairs for The Washington Times. Prior to joining The Times, Birnbaum worked as a reporter-researcher at the New Republic. A Boston-area native, he graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University with a degree in government and psychology. He won multiple collegiate journalism awards for his articles and columns in the Cornell Daily Sun.
TWT Video Picks
By returning to goodness, the nation can achieve greatness once again
- Fuel-filled wings, ability to swarm: Pentagon offers glimpse at future of drone fleet
- Secret U.S. assessments show Afghanistan not ready to govern on own
- U.S. military on high alert as Ukraine troops trade gunfire with pro-Russian militants
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- GOP writes legislation to deny Attorney General Eric Holder his salary
- Al Qaeda mocks U.S. in 'extraordinary' Yemen gathering; experts fear CIA caught flat-footed
- HHS nominee Sylvia Burwell entangled in MetLife lawsuit
- Russian fighter jet buzzes U.S. Navy destroyer in Black Sea
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
- Bill Clinton falls off vegan diet wagon but not vegan label
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes