Hiroshima marks 73rd anniversary of atomic bombing in WWII

Angelica Greene
August 9, 2018

Matsui urged leaders to steadily work toward achieving a world without atomic weapons.

Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui, right, dedicates the list of the victims of atomic bombing to the cenotaph during a ceremony to mark the 73rd anniversary of the bombing at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, western Japan.

A cenotaph for A-bomb victims, center, and the Atomic Bomb Dome, bottom, are seen from a Mainichi Shimbun helicopter in Hiroshima's Naka Ward on August 6, 2018, as people attend a peace memorial ceremony.

Nuclear deterrence and nuclear umbrellas are "inherently unstable and extremely dangerous" approaches that seek to maintain global order by only generating fear in rival countries, he said, urging world leaders to negotiate in good faith to eliminate nuclear arsenals instead.

At 8:15 a.m., the exact time when the USA atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, citizens including a representative of the bereaved families tolled a Peace Bell and participants offered a minute of silence.

And less than two months ago, U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed to the "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" during their summit in Singapore, though the deal has been criticized for lacking detail.

Abe said differences between the nuclear and non-nuclear states had widened, but he pledged to do more to bridge their gap.

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Without naming specific nations, he warned that "certain countries are explicitly expressing self-centred nationalism and modernising their nuclear arsenals".

For years, Japan has relied on USA deterrence and did not sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that referred to the suffering of hibakusha, or atomic bomb survivors.

Some of the hibakusha, many now aged over 82, have been working with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons to help a treaty to be adopted by the United Nations to ban nuclear weapons.

"Maintaining its three non-nuclear principles, our country is determined to make strenuous efforts to serve as a bridge between both parties", Abe said.

In Ashland Monday morning, a brief ceremony marked with the sound of a gong signaled the beginning of a four-day ceremony and the moment when the first of two atomic bombs exploded onto the world stage.

Matsui's call however highlighted Japan's contradictory relationship with nuclear weapons although Japanese officials routinely argue that they oppose atomic weapons.

The bombs claimed the lives of 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 74,000 people in Nagasaki.

Other reports by GizPress

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