Japan A-bomb survivors hopeful for ObamaSurvivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings have high hopes for US president-elect Barack Obama, believing he is the leader who could usher in Verb 1. usher in - be a precursor of; "The fall of the Berlin Wall ushered in the post-Cold War period"
commence, lead off, start, begin - set in motion, cause to start; "The U.S. a nuclear-free era.
Hiroshima residents have launched a letter campaign urging Obama to become the first sitting US president to see the site of the world's first nuclear attack.
The umbrella group representing atomic bomb atomic bomb or A-bomb, weapon deriving its explosive force from the release of atomic energy through the fission (splitting) of heavy nuclei (see nuclear energy). The first atomic bomb was produced at the Los Alamos, N.Mex. survivors is also requesting a face-to-face meeting with Obama, who takes office on January 20.
The survivors place "high hopes in Obama's pledges to seek a nuclear-free world," said Terumi Tanaka, leader of the Japan Confederation of A and H bomb Sufferers Organisations.
On his campaign website, Obama said his goal was "a world without nuclear weapons."
Obama said that while the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. would retain nuclear weapons so long as they existed, his administration would "take several steps down the long road" to eliminating them, including ending development of new nuclear arms.
The policy marks a shift from that of the outgoing administration of George W. Bush, which updated the design of US nuclear warheads.
Obama's views are "unprecedented for the leader of the country which has resisted abandoning nuclear weapons," said Tanaka, a 76-year-old survivor of the atomic bombing in Nagasaki.
"We want to support him and encourage him to take the initiative in abandoning nuclear weapons by telling him directly of our experiences," Tanaka said.
In a letter to Obama, the survivors say they want to speak to Obama "to help you better understand the horror of nuclear weapons."
A single US bomb dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 killed more than 140,000 people, either instantly or in the days and weeks that followed as radiation or horrific burns took their toll.
The United States dropped a second nuclear bomb on Nagasaki three days later, killing another 70,000 people. Japan surrendered less than a week later, ending World War II.
Citizens of Hiroshima, mostly teenage students, are sending a pile of 355 letters to Obama, calling on him to visit.
"We want him to see Hiroshima because he is a key person in world politics and the one who has the right to press the button to launch a nuclear-armed missile," said Keisuke Yoshihara, an editor at the local Chugoku Shimbun The Chugoku Shimbun (中国新聞 Chūgoku Shinbun daily, who encouraged the letter campaign.
About 50 students in Punahou High School in Honolulu, Hawaii For the city and county of Honolulu, see City & County of Honolulu.
“Honolulu” redirects here. For other uses, see Honolulu (disambiguation).
Honolulu is the capital as well as the most populous community of the State of Hawaii, United States. , from which Obama graduated, offered to translate letters into English, he said.
No serving US president has visited Hiroshima, although Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon both came when they were not in office. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last year became the highest-ranking US official to visit.
"For Obama to seek a nuclear-free world is of course a meaningful change from the Bush administration," said Masahiko Asada, professor of international law at Kyoto University Kyoto University (京都大学 Kyōto daigaku .
"But disarmament experts will watch cautiously whether he takes concrete steps towards that goal, such as ratifying the CTBT CTBT Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty ."
The US Senate has not ratified rat·i·fy
tr.v. rat·i·fied, rat·i·fy·ing, rat·i·fies
To approve and give formal sanction to; confirm. See Synonyms at approve. the CTBT, or Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which aims to ban all nuclear explosions everywhere in the world.
Asada said US ratification The confirmation or adoption of an act that has already been performed.
A principal can, for example, ratify something that has been done on his or her behalf by another individual who assumed the authority to act in the capacity of an agent. would put pressure on other holdouts, such as China, India and Pakistan, enabling the treaty to take effect.
The professor said that a visit by Obama could influence him.
"I visited Auschwitz last year and I felt that while hearing about things is one thing, seeing them is quite another," he said.
Japan has been officially pacifist since the end of World War II End of World War II can refer to: