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Sunday, July 24, 2011
Post Hiroshima & Nagasaki: Declassified papers show U.S. promoted atomic power in Japan!
Kyodo, / japantimes.co.jp / Sunday, July 24, 2011.
The United States used atomic power cooperation with Japan in the 1950s to ease the Japanese public's aversion to nuclear weapons and remedy their "ignorance" about such energy, declassified U.S. papers showed Saturday.
The U.S. move, which eventually led the world's only country to have suffered atomic bombing to embrace nuclear power, was initially devised to counter the antinuclear sentiment among the Japanese public after a tuna boat, the Fukuryu Maru No. 5, was exposed to radioactivity from a 1954 U.S. hydrogen bomb test while operating at Bikini Atoll in the South Pacific.
The documents, collected by Kyodo News at the U.S. National Archives, show that President Dwight D. Eisenhower's administration, concerned about Japan's possible exit from the Western camp, accelerated cooperation with Japan in atomic energy technology to contain antinuclear and anti-U.S. sentiment among the Japanese.
In a memorandum to U.S. Secretary of State John Dulles, dated May 26, 1954, Eisenhower said he was "concerned about the Japanese situation," and asked Dulles to help "have a better idea of what it is now possible for us to do to further our interests in Japan."
In a top-secret memo to Eisenhower, the State Department replied: "The Japanese are pathologically sensitive about nuclear weapons. They feel they are the chosen victims of such weapons."