WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation released the following statement on the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima atomic bombing.
“Seventy-five years ago, the world witnessed the unimaginable consequences inflicted from the use of a single atomic bomb in Hiroshima. Despite the hundreds of thousands who suffered from nuclear use in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nations worldwide rapidly built up nuclear arsenals with bombs much more powerful and dangerous than those used in 1945. Even after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the era of nuclear testing reflected a world on the edge of nuclear conflict: where nuclear arsenals raced towards an endless goal and where children practiced duck and cover drills.
Unfortunately, after three decades of reprieve following the end of the Cold War, nuclear brinksmanship is again on the rise between global powers. Nuclear arms treaties are being violated and discarded and over the past few months we have grown concerned about a return to explosive nuclear testing.
The United States must make every effort through our leadership and by working with allies to ensure that we do not return to such an era, for example by extending the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) while engaging in good faith negotiations on new arms control measures and also by ratifying the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
In 2016, President Obama said on the steps of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial: “Someday, the voices of the hibakusha will no longer be with us to bear witness. But the memory of the morning of Aug. 6, 1945, must never fade. That memory allows us to fight complacency. It fuels our moral imagination. It allows us to change.” As Hiroshima and Nagasaki remind us, complacency must never have a place when contemplating nuclear dangers. The United States must lead by action to reduce the possibility that nuclear weapons will ever be used again. The consequences are simply too high.”
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