U.S. Envoy for Nuclear Nonproliferation said the A-bombs saved "millions of life"
U.S. Special Envoy for Nuclear Nonproliferation Robert G. Joseph said in a press conference held in the Department of Defense on July 3 that the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki saved "millions of life".
QUESTION: In 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on civilian centers over Nagasaki and Hiroshima, consequently killing over 200,000 people. In hindsight, I think we can all agree that that was a very irNonproliferation Robert G. Joseph answered in a press conference on July 3rd that atomic bombs dropped on Hiresponsible use of the technology at the time. So my question is what gives the United States the right to sit at the head of the table and dictate to other countries how the type of technology should be regulated today?On July 4, Japan's new Defense Minister Yuriko Koike denounced the 1945 U.S. atomic bombings of Japan as "unacceptable from a humanitarian viewpoint." She took over from Fumio Kyuma, who resigned Tuesday to take responsibility for remarks he made Saturday interpreted as justifying the atomic bombings.
MR. JOSEPH: I guess that's probably for me. (Laughter.)
Well, I fundamentally disagree with the premise of the question. And in fact, I think that most historians would agree that the use of an atomic bomb brought to a close a war that would have cost millions of more lives, not just hundreds of thousands of allied lives but literally millions of Japanese lives. And the United States has taken the lead in nonproliferation working with others, most recently with Russia in a number of initiatives, to deal with the threats that we face from nuclear proliferation with regard to countries in the near term like Iran and North Korea, with threats of today such as the threats from nuclear terrorism, which perhaps are the preeminent threat that we face as a nation, and trying -- working with others to shape the future so that we don't have a cascade of proliferation.
The type of world that was envisioned by President Kennedy back in the 1960s in which we have 20 or 30 nuclear powers, that is something that we need to preclude, we need to avoid. At the same time, we need to move forward responsibly with others to ensure that we can meet our energy requirements, we can see industrializing countries develop, and we can do this in a responsible manner. And that's the chart -- that's the path that we have chartered and that's the path that I think our two presidents want to take, not just our two countries, but lead in the international community.