Interview with Tadatoshi Akiba
May 2, 2005 7:23 PM   Subscribe

A fascinating interview with Dr. Tadatoshi Akiba, mayor of Hiroshima and president of Mayors for Peace. Dr. Akiba is New York for the UN conference on the Nuclear Nonproliferation treaty, and he took the time for some eloquent straight talk about the nuclear weapons and international politics. (First link is to a real audio file.)
posted by fingers_of_fire (5 comments total)

 
I particularly like the part where Dr. Akiba points out that something like 66% of the American public favors the abolition of Nuclear Weapons (not sure where he gets his numbers). When the host points out that that view is not shared by the current administration, Dr. Akiba puzzles over the curiosity that the United States, the model of democracy for the world, has such a discrepancy of viewpoints between our population and our elected officials on such a crucial matter. I admire the simplicity of this argument, even if it doesn't hold up in the end.

There's also some fascinating info about the effects of radiation in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. What's more, I found his personal story to be intriguing as well.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 7:31 PM on May 2, 2005


... even if it doesn't hold up in the end.

Why doesn't it hold up? It seems sound to me.
posted by odinsdream at 10:41 AM on May 3, 2005


It seems sound to me, and if presidential elections were based on one issue alone, then his argument would be air-tight. That said, I think that most people were willing to stomach a little discrepancy on the non-proliferation issue in order to be well-represented on other things (like, you know, "moral values", and what have you...).

Don't get me wrong - I think the guy makes a salient point, and I wish he had the opportunity to make it before the US Congress.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 10:47 AM on May 3, 2005


That said, I think that most people were willing to stomach a little discrepancy on the non-proliferation issue in order to be well-represented on other things

I think it's a bit more than that. What the polls ask, essentially, is, "Shouldn't everyone pretty much give up their nukes?". People answer yes to this. If you were however, to ask, "Do you think that right now the US should destroy all its Nukes," and gave them time to think about it, you'd get a different result, because people would consider factors such as ensuring that other countries don't cheat and keep their arsenels. The poll question asked is theoretical, based on a perfect world, but when people choose a president or foreign policy, they do so for an imperfect world.
posted by unreason at 11:10 AM on May 3, 2005


An interview he did on Democracy Now!
posted by john at 4:10 PM on May 3, 2005


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