Hiroshima celebrates 76th anniversary of atomic bomb, calls for end to nuclear deterrence



Hiroshima marked the 76th anniversary of the United States’ atomic bombing on Friday, its mayor urging world leaders to move from nuclear deterrence to a dialogue of confidence.

At the annual ceremony, which was reduced once again this year amid the surge in coronavirus infections across Japan, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui called on world leaders to support a Treaty of Nations United Nations to ban nuclear weapons that went into effect in January.

After a moment of silence observed at 8.15 a.m., the exact time of the attack of August 6, 1945, the mayor also stressed the importance of combining individual efforts, especially among young people, to encourage states with nuclear weapons to modify their Strategies.

“The road to abolition will not be easy, but a glimmer of hope is shining among the young people who are now embarking on the quest for hibakusha,” he said, referring to the survivors of the atomic bombings of ‘Hiroshima and Nagasaki, whose numbers are declining rapidly due to their old age.

Matsui stressed that his city will never stop preserving the facts of the disaster and will continue to promote a global culture of peace.

“Nuclear weapons are the ultimate human violence. If civil society decides to live without them, the door to a world without nuclear weapons will open wide,” he said.

In a speech at the event, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga stressed the need for “realistic initiatives” in favor of nuclear disarmament in a context of severe security and growing differences between the positions of nations.

On Friday, people pray outside a monument at the Peace Memorial Park near Ground Zero in Hiroshima. | KYODO

At the current Tokyo Olympics, athletes and officials were not asked to observe a minute of silence despite requests from the Hiroshima municipal government and other groups to participate “in spirit.”

The requests were made after the president of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach visited Hiroshima on July 16, a week before the opening of the Olympics. During his visit, Bach called for global solidarity to build a more peaceful future.

As for the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which currently has 86 signatory states, Matsui called on the Japanese government to sign and ratify it in order to conduct “productive mediation” between nuclear and non-nuclear states. .

Japan has refused to participate in the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons with the nuclear weapon states of the world because it is under the US nuclear umbrella.

Suga, who was attending the ceremony for the first time as prime minister, did not refer to the new treaty in his speech, but said the government would continue to strive to make the next review conference successful. of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty by finding common ground between countries.

Suga accidentally skipped parts of his speech and then apologized for the mistake.

“I want to take this opportunity to apologize for skipping parts of my speech during the ceremony,” the Prime Minister said at a press conference after the ceremony.

Parts ignored included references to Japan being the only country to have suffered atomic bombing and its mission to achieve a nuclear-weapon-free world.

He skipped a page and the error was noticed when public broadcaster NHK stopped showing captions during his speech at the anniversary ceremony.

On Friday, doves are released in the hope of peace at the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima.  |  KYODO
On Friday, doves are released in the hope of peace at the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima. | KYODO

In a video message, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who again decided to forgo attending the ceremony due to the pandemic, said: “The only guarantee against the use of nuclear weapons is their elimination. total “.

The number of guests with seats was limited to around 880, less than 10% of those in typical years.

The city said officials from 86 countries and the European Union would attend the ceremony.

A uranium nucleus atomic bomb dubbed “Little Boy”, dropped by an American bomber, exploded over the city at 8:15 am on August 6, 1945, killing an estimated 140,000 people by the end of the year.

A second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9, and Japan surrendered six days later, marking the end of World War II.

The combined number of surviving victims of the two atomic bombings stood at 127,755 in March, down about 8,900 from the previous year, the Department of Health, Labor and Welfare said, adding that their average age was 83.94 years.

In a time of both disinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing you can help us tell the story well.




Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.