FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
202.546.0795 X 2617
Washington, DC – In approximately 12 hours, President Obama will become the first sitting U.S. President to visit Hiroshima since the end of World War II. The nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed approximately 200,000 people. This extraordinary gesture reflects the robust modern alliance between the United States and Japan, and global non-proliferation progress since the end of the Cold War that has only furthered under the Obama Administration.
John Tierney, a former nine-term U.S. Congressman and current Executive Director of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, commended the President on his visit:
“This is yet another positive step for global non-proliferation. A sitting presidential visit to Hiroshima was seen as taboo even just a few years ago. With 15,000 nuclear weapons remaining around the world, this trip allows humanity to reflect on the devastation of war and understand why nuclear weapons can never be used again.”
Ambassador Thomas Graham Jr., a non-proliferation expert on the Center’s National Advisory Board and a former senior U.S. diplomat involved in the negotiations of every major international arms control and non-proliferation agreement from 1970-1997, commented:
“The President knows that his vision of a nuclear-free world may not happen in his lifetime. But he’s made tangible progress toward that goal, including the signing of the 2010 New START treaty with Russia, convening the novel Nuclear Security Summits, and retiring the U.S. arsenal of submarine-launched nuclear cruise missiles.”
Congressman Tierney, noting the Obama Administration’s misguided plan to overhaul the entire U.S. nuclear arsenal at a cost of up to $1 trillion over the next three decades, added:
“The President’s nuclear weapons record isn’t perfect, but his legacy of pushing for a nuclear-free world will live on for generations. The Hiroshima visit must be a reminder to the next Administration that more reductions are not only possible, they are necessary.”
The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)3 non-profit, non-partisan research organization dedicated to enhancing international peace and security through fact-based policy analysis.