Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Japan marks 77th anniversary of Hiroshima bombing

Japan on Saturday marked the 77th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima that took place in the final days of the Second World War.
A moment of silence was observed at 8.15 a.m., the exact moment when a uranium bomb dropped from a US bomber detonated over the city on August 6, 1945, killing around 140,000 people by the end of the year and exposed many more to harmful radiation, reports Xinhua news agency.
At a memorial ceremony held at the Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui cautioned in the Peace Declaration that dependence on nuclear deterrence is gaining momentum in the world.
“We must immediately render all nuclear buttons meaningless,” he said.
Also in attendance at the ceremony were Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, representatives from 99 countries, as well as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the first chief of the world body to attend the event in 12 years.
In his speech, Guterres warned that a new arms race is accelerating. The Prime Minister said “Japan will pursue this goal despite global security tensions, and while following the three principles of not possessing, producing or permitting the introduction of nuclear weapons into the country”.
More than 3,000 members of the public also turned out for the ceremony, a substantial increase on the crowds in 2020 and 2021, the first two years of the coronavirus pandemic, says public broadcaster NHK.
Officials placed a list of victims of the bombing back in a cenotaph, following the addition of the names of 4,978 people who died or were confirmed dead over the past year. The total now stands at 333,907. The average age of atomic bomb survivors is now more than 84.
UN chief warns nuclear weapons are ‘loaded gun’ for humanity
Humanity is playing with a “loaded gun” as crises with the potential for nuclear disaster proliferate worldwide, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in Hiroshima on the 77th anniversary of the first atomic bomb attack.
The United States dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, destroying the city and killing 140,000 people. It dropped a second atomic bomb three days later on Nagasaki, killing more than 70,000. Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945, ending World War II.
At an annual memorial on Saturday for the dropping of the first nuclear bomb, Guterres warned of the risk posed by crises in Ukraine, the Middle East and the Korean peninsula as he described the horrors endured in the Japanese city during World War II.
“Tens of thousands of people were killed in this city in the blink of an eye. Women, children and men were incinerated in a hellish fire,” the UN chief said.
“We must ask: What have we learned from the mushroom cloud that swelled above this city?”
Fears of a third atomic bombing have grown amid Russia’s threats of a nuclear attack since its war on Ukraine began in February.
Repeating warnings he made this week at a nuclear non-proliferation treaty conference in New York, Guterres said “crises with grave nuclear undertones are spreading fast”.
“Humanity is playing with a loaded gun,” he said.


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