August 1, 2001

Dear Conference Attendees:

As representatives of the undersigned US citizens organizations, we want to draw your attention to the fact that a major Japanese corporation, Hoya, is currently aiding the development and construction of the largest single project within the U.S. nuclear weapons program -- the $4.2 billion National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, one of two U.S. nuclear weapons design laboratories. Hundreds of official U.S. weapons laboratory documents, some of which have been obtained by our organizations and supplied to GENSUIKIN, demonstrate the close connections between the NIF and U.S. weapons laboratory efforts to develop nuclear weapon design codes that can simulate the impact of design changes on explosive performance without resort to nuclear explosive tests.

Upon examining these documents, any reasonably objective individual would have to conclude that the primary stated purpose of the NIF is to maintain and even improve the capacities of the U.S. nuclear weapon laboratories to design nuclear weapons, thereby undermining a principle objective of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). It is simply not credible for officials of a company with significant involvement in the project, such as Hoya, to suggest otherwise, and those who do are engaged in willful self-deception, or worse.

The Preamble to the CTBT states that the "cessation of all nuclear weapon test explosions and all other nuclear explosions, by constraining the development and qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons and ending the development of advanced types of nuclear weapons, constitutes an effective measure of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation in all its aspects." A principal objective of the CTBT is to inhibit all the States Parties from acquiring the very kind of nuclear weapon design data and expertise that the NIF Project intends to provide to the US government. Hoya's support for the NIF Project is therefore inconsistent with the spirit and purpose of Japan's CTBT commitment.

However, questions regarding Japan's legal obligations under the Treaty are also involved in Hoya's assistance to the NIF Project. Article 1, Paragraph 2 of the CTBT states: "Each State Party undertakes, furthermore, to refrain from causing, encouraging, or in any way participating in the carrying out of any nuclear weapon test explosion or any other nuclear explosion."

Since the United States has not yet ratified the CTBT, and the current U.S. Administration has stated that it has no intention of doing so, Japan must proceed from the assumption that the United States, as a non-Party to the CTBT, could resume nuclear weapons test explosions at any time. In light of this possibility, and given the NIF's Project's close association with the improvement of US nuclear weapon design codes and with the training of new US nuclear weapon designers, Hoya's significant role in the NIF Project could well be construed as Japan's "encouraging" or "in [some] way participating" in subsequent US test explosions.

It appears that the NIF Project could only be made consistent with the Japan's CTBT commitment by the application of rigorous and intrusive international safeguards, which would effectively bar the conduct at the facility of nuclear-weapons-related experiments - the majority of all planned experiments - and effectively preclude the participation of all NIF personnel in nuclear weapon design activities. As is clear from the enclosed documents, such "peaceful use" safeguards on the NIF would contradict the essential purpose and stated rationale for the NIF Project, which has received billions of dollars in funding from the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration precisely because of its declared value to the U.S. nuclear weapons program.

We urge all conference attendees to inform the Japanese media, along with their fellow citizens and consumers of optical products, about the Hoya Corporation's participation in the NIF Project, the largest and most expensive single element of the current U.S. nuclear weapons program, and we urge an official Japanese government review and inquiry, by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Diet, into the consistency of Hoya's activities with Japan's principled domestic and international stance against nuclear armaments, and its political and legal commitments under the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

The Bush Administration is seeking to bury the CTBT. Japan must not be allowed become a silent partner in this effort by quietly allowing Japanese companies to profit from the billions of dollars that continue to be wasted on the U.S. nuclear weapons program.

In peace and solidarity,

Christopher E. Paine
Senior Research Analyst
Natural Resources Defense Council
1200 New York Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

Marylia Kelley
Tri-Valley CAREs
(Communities Against a Radioactive Environment)
2582 Old First Street
Livermore, CA USA 94550

Arjun Makhijani
President, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research
6935 Laurel Ave.
Takoma Park, Maryland 20912

Jacqueline Cabasso,
Executive Director, Western States Legal Foundation
Oakland, CA. USA

Alice Slater
Global Resource Action Center for the Environment (GRACE)
15 East 26th Street, Room 915
New York, NY 10010

Robert M. Gould, MD
SF-Bay Area Chapter
Physicians for Social Responsibility

Mary Byrd Davis, Director,
Yggdrasil Institute POB 131,
Georgetown, KY 40324

Joni Arends
Waste Programs Director
Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety
107 Cienega
Santa Fe, NM 87501

Jay Coghlan
Nuclear Watch of New Mexico
551 W. Cordova Rd., # 808
Santa Fe, NM, USA 87501

Greg Mello, Director
Los Alamos Study Group
212 East Marcy Street, #10
Santa Fe, NM 87501

Susan Shaer, Executive Director
Women's Action for New Directions
691 Massachusetts Ave.
Arlington, MA 02476

Susan Gordon, Director
Alliance for Nuclear Accountability
1801 18th Street, Suite 9-2
Washington, DC 20009

Tracy Moavero
Peace Action Education Fund
1819 H St. NW 425 Washington DC20006

Gordon S. Clark
Disarmament Coordinator
Greenpeae U.S.A.
702 H Street NW Washington, DC 20001

Martin Butcher
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Connecticut Ave, NW, Suite 1012,
Washington, DC 20009