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Denial, distress and hope: why we need to talk about nuclear war
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  • Published on:
    ABC risks for public health by introducing foreign military bases
    • Yasuharu Tokuda, Internal Medicine Physician Tsukuba University
    • Other Contributors:
      • Yoshio Kinjo, Physicist

    We agree that a nuclear catastrophe would result if these weapons were used. In this letter, we would like to add public health risks by military membership with other countries. After Russia’s invasion into Ukraine, there is increasing public support in Finland and Sweden for joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) (1, 2). Although we understand an advantage in Finland and Sweden for countering possible invasion by military membership, there is a risk of disadvantages of environmental contamination and epidemic spread caused by introducing foreign military bases. There will be ABC (atomic, biological, and chemical) risks for public health from introducing military bases. In fact, these risks have been observed in Okinawa. The prefecture of Japan has had U.S. military bases over the 77 years.

    Atomic contamination happened in Okinawa because of the historical background of 1,400 nuclear weapons equipped in Okinawa in the 1960s. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, a nuclear missile was misfired from the U.S. military base in Naha, the local capital of Okinawa (3). There was also an accident in which an aircraft carrying a nuclear bomb fell from an aircraft carrier in the waters near Okinawa (4). The lost nuclear missile and bomb have never been removed and are still submerged in the waters near Okinawa. At the period of the Iraq War, the U.S. military conducted training to launch more than 1,000 depleted uranium bombs on an uninhabited island of Okinawa (5)...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.