2011年10月07日

40 America 4-5

4-5 A Think Tank of the United States

The Washington office of the Monterey Institute of International Studies is located along the Potomac River. On the afternoon of April, 22, 2005, I was watching the range of cherry trees in full bloom and big buildings from the top of the office. Someone who was familiar with the area explained to me that the Watergate scandal happened in the building opposite this office. I realized that this office was no more than one kilometer from the White House. I felt as if I were examining history.

As soon as Dr. Lawrence Scheinman came into the room, he introduced himself and said, “I was a special advisor for the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) and Japan has been a familiar country to me. I visited Japan five times for the sake of peace. You might think that I am a think tank for the United States.” He used to be in charge of the government’s military affairs, including nuclear weapons, under U.S. Presidents Ford, Carter and Clinton. That is why he could say that he was a think tank for the United States all by himself.

Mr. Okada, a journalist from the Chugoku Newspaper seamlessly asked him questions: “Could you tell us about the nuclear policy under the Bush administration? I don’t think that the United States has really decreased the number of nuclear arms.”
He answered, “The world situation has changed our policy on nuclear possession. The NPT Review Conference is important because it states that nuclear states will not use their arms on non-nuclear states. However, even if nuclear states disarmed their nuclear warheads, it would make no impact on North Korea. Nuclear armed Pakistan and India would still need some help for reconciliation. Israel would prefer to possess nuclear arms to keep its superiority to its neighboring countries. The biggest concern is that information and technology to produce nuclear arms may leak to terrorists. People in the United States don’t think that the president will use nuclear weapons. They understand that nuclear weapons are necessary to keep their diplomatic superiority.”
“Your country actually used the only two atomic bombs existing in 1945” Mr. Okada said and continued to ask, “Practical small nuclear weapons reportedly have been developed now. What is the purpose of them?”
Dr. Scheinman replied, “The Chinese economy is soaring and threatening us. We don’t know what will happen in the future. The Bush administration is trying to minimize nuclear arms usable as conventional weapons. It is not for use but for deterrence. I believe that the United States should play an important role in regional conferences.”
Lastly, I had a chance to give my opinions. I knew that he had nothing to do with the present government, but I said, “I am doubtful of the premise that the United States commands the world, which the president, his aides and think tanks believe. However if they do, they should take the lead to abolish nuclear arms.”


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(Washington Memorial)