Scotland’s potential to lead the way on nuclear disarmament has been highlighted again today – after the Director of the Rethinking Nuclear Weapons Project and the former Mayor of Hiroshima backed calls to remove Trident from Scotland after a Yes vote.
On the day a debate on Trident took place in the Scottish Parliament, former Mayor of Hiroshima Tadatoshi Akiba said that the removal of Trident after a Yes vote would be a major boost to the campaign for nuclear disarmament across the world – saying that “your successful effort in Scotland would tell them and the world that citizens round the world have won this historic and monumental and humanitarian battle over nuclear weapons.”
Scotland’s chance to make a powerful statement on nuclear weapons has also been highlighted by Ward Wilson, Director of the Rethinking Nuclear Weapons Project. Mr Wilson has said that Scotland’s rejection of nuclear weapons “will have an enormous and beneficial impact on the safety of civilisation.”
Mr Wilson also said that “at key moments, small nations can have a profound and powerful impact on world conversations. They can clear away the dust and cobwebs of the past. This is one of the moments.”
These important interventions come just days after prominent peace campaigner Bruce Kent, Vice-President of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, backed a Yes vote as it “would lead to the removal of immoral and illegal Trident from Faslane and Scotland”.
Welcoming the interventions, SNP MSP Bill Kidd said:
“These comments from highly respected international campaigners highlight the opportunities Scotland will have to make a difference as an independent country – and to take the lead on nuclear disarmament.
“By taking a stand on these immoral, destructive and abhorrent weapons of mass destruction we will set a powerful example on the world stage.
“Under the Westminster system, there is no hope of getting rid of nuclear weapons – and all of the Westminster parties are obsessed with wasting over £100bn on renewing Trident. The No campaign have even lobbied politicians to back the renewal.
“A recent independent report warned that the annual cost of renewing Trident will soar to as much as £4bn within a decade – an outrageous waste of money.
“But with a Yes vote we can reject Trident – setting a powerful example to the rest of the world and using the billions we will save to tackle poverty and close the gap between rich and poor.
“An independent Scotland’s actions to get rid of nuclear weapons have the potential to influence others and set the agenda across the world. We have a real opportunity to take the lead and make a difference on the world stage – we must grasp it by voting Yes.”
Ward Wilson, director of the Rethinking Nuclear Weapons Project said: “If Scotland rejects nuclear weapons, it will have an enormous and beneficial impact on the safety of civilization. Nuclear-armed states are locked in a Cold War mindset, an old-fashioned, imperial view that warps their thinking. At key moments, small nations can have a profound and powerful impact on world conversations. They can clear away the dust and cobwebs of the past. This is one of those moments.”
By Tadatoshi Akiba, former Mayor Of Hiroshima:
Fellow Peace Workers and friends! It is my pleasure and honor to send you a message of solidarity from Hiroshima on this historic occasion.
First of all, thank you for all the wonderful work you have done so far to create a peaceful world without nuclear weapons. Secondly, I am grateful that you are continuing your grand effort which I know would make our dream a reality within the lifetime of the hibakusha of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
I am thankful because you have successfully engaged the Scottish Parliament on the 69th anniversary of the Hiroshima day to debate on the Trident case. I pray that the debate would be the starting point for the realization of our common objective, the removal of the Trident Missile System from Scotland in the year 2020 upon the auspicious occasion of Scottish Independence. I can visualize the day on which UK also gains the respect of the world for abandoning nuclear weapons unilaterally thus sparing the world from extinction.
The year 2020 is significant because Mayors for Peace has been working to rid the world of nuclear weapons by 2020 to respond to the call of our hibakusha and your successful effort in Scotland would tell them and the world that citizens round the world have won this historic and monumental and humanitarian battle over nuclear weapons.
It is also heartening to note that like minded nations and people all over the world are joining us creatively to meet the deadline. For example, as you all know, the Republic of Marshall Islands has started a heroic lawsuit against the nine nuclear weapons states to force them to comply with their legal and moral obligations they had promised to abide by “in good faith”.
In Japan, we are trying to rectify the Abe administration’s warped effort to bend the Peace Constitution, without going through the necessary legal procedures to amend the constitution, so that, by arbitrarily nullifying Article 9 which renounces war, Japan would become another “ordinary” country that can wage war succumbing to the rule of power.
I know that our efforts will be successful because throughout human history, over millennia and over such a short span as half a century, history has shown that the human race, with conscientious efforts have become peaceable and less violent. I wish I were with you in the Scottish Parliament to show my enthusiastic support to all of you, but I would like to join you in spirit from Hiroshima. Finally, on this August 6, let us again solemnly pledge that with strong determination we would continue our struggle to create a truly peaceful future. In particular, let us make sure that the future generations would never suffer from disasters of wars, and in particular of nuclear wars.
Former Mayor of Hiroshima (served 1999-2011)
Former President of Mayors for Peace