April 22, 2012
Akahata editorial (excerpts)
The government of India announced that it successfully carried out a nuclear-capable missile test. India is justifying its missile development program by arguing that the experiment took place only for the country’s defense, not targeting a particular country.
Tensions continue to exist between India and its neighboring countries of China and Pakistan. India’s nuclear development is undermining efforts to ease these tensions and establish peace in this region. It is impermissible to fuel an arms race in South Asia, including nuclear weapons.
Like Israel and Pakistan, India also possesses nuclear weapons and refuses to sign and ratify the NPT on the grounds that it is an unequal treaty allowing only the U.S., Russia, Britain, France, and China to possess nuclear weapons.
The nuclear arming of India resulted in the Pakistani nuclear weapons development. No matter how many times India says that it adopts a “no first use policy” and that the program is purely for defense purposes, justification of its nuclear weapons program contributes to nuclear proliferation imperiling the security of the world.
India and some other newly industrializing countries claim their right to military expansion appropriate to their economic growth. However, such military-oriented national security only accelerates the arms race in the region. What they should explore is avenues toward ensuring national and regional security by reducing military dependence and instead increasing regional cooperation.
At the U.N. General Assembly, India always votes for a resolution calling for the conclusion of an international treaty banning nuclear weapons. The only way to assure global security is the total abolition and prohibition of all nuclear weapons as called for by India itself.