Seventy-four years after the US nuclear bombings upon the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki — on August 6th and 9th of 1945 —, the Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation (CPPC) reaffirms the need and urgency to end this type of weapon.

The dimension of the crime of dropping the atomic bombs upon the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is, firstly, expressed in the number of victims and the brutality of its effects: more than 100 thousand dead in the moment of explosion and many more until the end of 1945, following wounds; among the survivors and their descendants, the incidence of malformations and oncological diseases skyrocketed, due to radiation — a reality still felt today, more than 70 years after the events.

The fact that these bombings were perpetrated upon an already defeated Japan and upon cities with no strategic military importance only increases the brutality of the crime.

Following the horror of World War II and the barbaric atomic bombings, general, simultaneous and controlled disarmament has been, for more than seven decades, a central objective for all those who, in Portugal and the world, defend peace and international security.

Recalling Hiroshima and Nagasaki is, above all, a warning call to the present existing risks: given the dimension and potential of the current nuclear arsenals, a nuclear war wouldn’t be limited to replicating the horror in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, rather it would be multiplied many times over.

There are presently 16 thousand nuclear warheads, most of which much more powerful that those which destroyed the Japanese cities in August of 1945. Of these, 15 thousand are in the hands of the United States of America and the Russian Federation. The remaining warheads are in the hands of France (300), China (270), United Kingdom (215), Pakistan (120-130), India (110-120), Israel (80) and the Popular Democratic Republic of Korea (about 10). Five other countries — Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Turkey — host US nuclear weapons in their territory. The US also has nuclear weapons spread throughout the world, in hundreds of military bases, naval squadrons and bombers.

Deploying a small part of the existing nuclear arsenal would be enough to seriously threaten all life on Earth. In addition to the millions of human beings who would lose their lives because of the explosions, a nuclear war would also provoke devastating and prolonged effects upon the environment and climate. The so-called «Nuclear Winter» would drastically reduce the fertile periods of plant growth for many years, perhaps even eliminate them, leading most human beings and other species to succumb to famine.

In such an uncertain and dangerous time as we are living, namely when the US promotes an arms race, including nuclear race, with steps including its withdrawal from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty and recent statements by president Trump and members of his Administration criticizing and questioning the renewal, in 2021, of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), CPPC revives the need for stronger action in defense of peace and disarmament, and reaffirms the validity of demanding that Portugal sign the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

CPPC reaffirms that Portugal should sign, ratify and promote this Treaty, actively contributing towards a world free of nuclear weapons and towards peace.

CPPC National Leadership
August 1st, 2019


World Peace Council