The Japanese city of Nagasaki yesterday commemorated the 76th anniversary of the detonation of a US atomic bomb over the city, with the mayor calling for the global community to build on a new nuclear ban treaty.
Nagasaki was hit by an atomic inferno that killed 74,000 people, three days after the nuclear bomb that hit Hiroshima.
The twin attacks brought forth the nuclear age and gave Japan the bleak distinction of being the only country to be struck by foreign atomic weapons.
Survivors and a handful of foreign dignitaries offered a silent prayer at 11:02am local time, the exact time the second — and last — nuclear weapon used in wartime was dropped. For a second year, the number of people attending was much smaller due to COVID-19 restrictions. The ceremony is the first since an international treaty banning nuclear weapons came into force last year.
“World leaders must commit to nuclear arms reductions and build trust through dialogue, and civil society must push them in this direction,” Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue said.
The treaty has not been signed by countries with nuclear arsenals, but activists believe it will have a gradual deterrent effect.
Japan has not signed it either, saying the accord carries no weight without being accepted by nuclear-armed states.
The country is also in a delicate position, as it is under the US nuclear umbrella, with US forces responsible for its defence.
“As the only country that has suffered atomic bombings during the war, it is our unchanging mission to steadily advance the efforts of the international community, step by step, towards realization of a world free of nuclear weapons,” Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said at the ceremony.
On Friday, Japan marked 76 years since the US dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, killing around 140,000 people.
Barack Obama in 2016 became the first sitting US president to visit Hiroshima, but Washington has never acceded to demands for an apology for the bombings.
International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach traveled to Hiroshima in July, before the start of the Tokyo Games, to mark the start of an Olympic truce — a tradition that calls for a halt to global conflict to allow the safe passage of athletes.
However, city officials were disappointed after the IOC refused a request to stage a minute of silence at the Games to mark Friday’s anniversary.
The rivalry between Asia’s two biggest countries has extended into outer space. After India’s landing of its Chandrayaan-3 rover on the moon last month — becoming the first country to put a spacecraft near the lunar south pole and breaking China’s record for the southernmost lunar landing — a top Chinese scientist has said claims about the accomplishment are overstated. Ouyang Ziyuan (歐陽自遠), lauded as the father of China’s lunar exploration program, told the Chinese-language Science Times newspaper that the Chandrayaan-3 landing site, at 69 degrees south latitude, was nowhere close to the pole, defined as between 88.5 and 90 degrees. On Earth,
A cat wearing a black and yellow security vest strolls nonchalantly past security guards lined outside a Philippine office building waiting to receive instructions for their shift. Conan, a six-month-old stray, joined the security team of the Worldwide Corporate Center in the capital, Manila, several months ago. He is one of the lucky moggies unofficially adopted by security guards across the city, where thousands of cats live on the street. While the cats lack the security skills of dogs — and have a tendency to sleep on the job — their cuteness and company have endeared them to bored security guards working 12-hour
He is better known for rallying global support for Ukraine, but US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday picked up another favorite tool of diplomacy — his guitar. The lifelong music fan turned top US diplomat showed off his guitar chops, as he launched a new initiative of music diplomacy through which the US is to send top artists to countries including China and Saudi Arabia. After performances in the US Department of State’s formal reception room by the likes of jazz icon Herbie Hancock, Dave Grohl of Nirvana and Foo Fighters fame, and rising young pop singer Gayle, Blinken took
TEMPORARY HITCH? Biden said the US ‘cannot ... allow American support for Ukraine to be interrupted,’ and he expects House Speaker McCarthy to come up with a solution The threat of a federal government shutdown suddenly lifted late on Saturday as US President Joe Biden signed a temporary funding bill to keep agencies open with little time to spare after the US Congress rushed to approve the bipartisan deal. The package dropped aid to Ukraine, a White House priority opposed by a growing number of Republican lawmakers, but increased federal disaster assistance by US$16 billion, meeting Biden’s full request. The bill would fund the US government until Nov. 17. After chaotic days of turmoil in the US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy abruptly abandoned demands for steep spending cuts