Na­gasaki marks 71st an­niver­sary of atomic bomb­ing

The Myanmar Times - - World -

THE Ja­panese city of Na­gasaki yes­ter­day marked 71 years since its de­struc­tion by a United States atomic bomb, with its mayor laud­ing a visit by US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama to Hiroshima ear­lier this year.

A bell tolled as thou­sands of peo­ple, in­clud­ing age­ing sur­vivors and rel­a­tives of vic­tims, ob­served a minute’s si­lence at 11:02am, the ex­act mo­ment of the blast.

Some 74,000 peo­ple died in the ini­tial ex­plo­sion, while thou­sands of others died months or years later from ra­di­a­tion sick­ness.

The at­tack came three days af­ter the US dropped the first-ever atomic bomb on Hiroshima, which ul­ti­mately killed 140,000 peo­ple.

Na­gasaki mayor Tomi­hisa Taue lauded Mr Obama’s land­mark May visit to Hiroshima – the first ever by a sit­ting US pres­i­dent.

“Know­ing the facts be­comes the start­ing point for think­ing about a fu­ture free of nu­clear weapons,” Mr Taue said, call­ing on other world lead­ers to visit his city.

Lo­cal of­fi­cials and those who sur­vived the bomb­ing called for strict ad­her­ence to Ja­pan’s post-war tra­di­tion of paci­fism and were crit­i­cal of the Ja­panese gov­ern­ment.

“The gov­ern­ment of Ja­pan, while ad­vo­cat­ing nu­clear weapons abo­li­tion, still re­lies on nu­clear de­ter­rence,” the mayor said, call­ing it a “con­tra­dic­tory state of af­fairs”.

Hiroshima’s Mayor Kazumi Mat­sui on Au­gust 6 marked the com­mem­o­ra­tion of the bomb­ing of his city, also cit­ing Mr Obama’s visit.

He said the visit was proof the US pres­i­dent shared his city’s view of the “ab­so­lute evil” of nu­clear weapons.

Ja­panese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe, in his ad­dress in Na­gasaki, called on world lead­ers to hon­our the global Nu­clear Non-pro­lif­er­a­tion Treaty.

“We must not al­low a re­peat of the hor­ri­ble ex­pe­ri­ences of Hiroshima and Na­gasaki that hap­pened 71 years ago,” Mr Abe said.

Mr Abe has moved to ex­tend the scope of Ja­pan’s mil­i­tary and deepen the na­tion’s al­liance with Washington in the face of threats from China’s ex­pand­ing mil­i­tary strength and un­pre­dictable North Korea. –

Photo: AFP

Mayor Kazumi Mat­sui has lauded Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s visit to Hiroshima.

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