Hiroshima yesterday marked the 74rd anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city with its mayor renewing calls for eliminating such weapons and demanding Japan’s government do more.
Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui raised concerns in his peace address about the rise of self-centered politics in the world and urged leaders to steadily work toward achieving a world without atomic weapons.
“Around the world today, we see self-centered nationalism in ascendance, tensions heightened by international exclusivity and rivalry, with nuclear disarmament at a standstill,” Matsui said in his peace declaration.
Photo: Reuters / Kyodo
He urged the younger generations never to dismiss the atomic bombings and the war as a mere events of history, but think of them as their own, while calling on world leaders to come visit the nuclear bombed cities to learn what happened.
Matsui also demanded that the Japanese government represent the wills of atomic bombing survivors and sign a UN nuclear weapons ban treaty.
Japan, which hosts 50,000 US troops and is protected by the US nuclear umbrella, has not signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, an inaction atomic bombing survivors and pacifist groups protest as insincere.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe acknowledged widening differences between nuclear and non-nuclear states.
“Japan is committed to serve as a bridge between nuclear and non-nuclear states and lead the international effort, while patiently trying to convince them to cooperate and have a dialogue,” Abe said in his address at the ceremony.
He vowed to maintain Japan’s pacifist and nuclear nuclear-free principles, but did not promise to sign the treaty.
Survivors, their relatives and other participants marked the 8:15am blast with a minute of silence.
The US attack on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, killed 140,000 people. The bomb dropped three days later on Nagasaki killed another 70,000 before Japan’s surrender ended World War II.
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