Survivors of the U.S. nuclear attacks on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 have denounced Washington's new nuclear doctrine announced by the Pentagon on Friday.
Koichi Kawano, president of the group known as the "hibakusha," warned that Washington's strategy to develop low-power nuclear weapons lowers the barriers to their use, increasing the risk of nuclear war.
Hiroshima survivor Shoso Kawamoto, 83, lost six family members in the 1945 bombing. "We'll face greater dangers of nuclear weapons. As someone who knows the horror of a nuclear weapon, I find (the new policy) extremely disappointing," Kawamoto said.
The mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki also issued statements protesting the new policy, entitled the Nuclear Posture Review.
"We would like President Trump to visit the bombed sites and start to seek a world without nuclear weapons," said Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui.
Frants Klintsevich, first deputy chairman of the Russian Upper House Committee on Defense and Security, echoed their concerns: "The whole world remembers Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The U.S. nuclear doctrine does not taboo the repetition of such things and this is the most concerning thing."
The lawmaker said the new policy is based on rivalry with Moscow, rather than cooperation.
Others, however, welcomed the shift in policy. Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said his country aims to strengthen the possibilities for deterrence within the framework of bilateral relations.
In August 1945, U.S. President Harry Truman ordered the attacks on the two Japanese cities, marking the first time nuclear weapons had ever been used. Over 200,000 people were killed.