Ja­pan marks 70 years in Hiroshima atomic bomb­ing an­niver­sary

Ja­pan’s Hiroshima cer­e­monies ‘schem­ing’: Chi­nese news­pa­per


Tens of thou­sands gath­ered in Hiroshima Thurs­day to mark 70 years since the drop­ping of the first atomic bomb, with opin­ion still di­vided over whether its deadly de­struc­tion was jus­ti­fied.

Bells tolled as a solemn crowd ob­served a mo­ment of si­lence at 8:15 a.m. lo­cal time (2315 GMT), when the det­o­na­tion turned the bustling city into an inferno, killing thou­sands in­stantly and leav­ing oth­ers with hor­rific in­juries to die a slow death.

Chil­dren, el­derly sur­vivors and del­e­gates rep­re­sent­ing 100 coun­tries were in the crowd with many plac­ing flow­ers in front of the ceno­taph at Peace Me­mo­rial Park, as doves were re­leased into the air.

“As the only coun­try ever at­tacked by an atomic bomb ... we have a mis­sion to cre­ate a world with­out nu­clear arms,” Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe told the crowd.

“We have been tasked with con­vey­ing the in­hu­man­ity of nu­clear weapons, across gen­er­a­tions and borders.”

Ja­pan plans to sub­mit a fresh res­o­lu­tion to abol­ish nu­clear weapons at the U.N. gen­eral assem­bly later this year, he said.

US Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry, at a re­gional diplo­matic meet­ing in Malaysia, de­scribed the bomb­ing as a “very, very pow­er­ful re­minder” of the im­pact of war.

US am­bas­sador Caro­line Kennedy and un­der-sec­re­tary for arms con­trol Rose Got­te­moeller, the most se­nior Washington of­fi­cial ever sent to the ser­vice, at­tended Thurs­day’s cer­e­mony.

‘You must never make Ja­pan a coun­try that re­peats the same


Ja­pan’s na­tion­al­ist leader has been crit­i­cized for ef­forts to ex­pand the role of his paci­fist coun­try’s Self- De­fense Forces, changes that open the door to putting troops into com­bat for the first time since the war.

In a fresh con­tro­versy over the un­pop­u­lar moves, De­fense Min­is­ter Gen Nakatani ad­mit­ted that the new se­cu­rity laws be­ing de­bated in par­lia­ment could — in the­ory — al­low for Ja­pan to trans­port nu­clear weapons to al­lies, but he quickly dis­missed it as un­likely.

Bomb sur­vivors, known as hi­bakusha, de­manded that Abe drop the mil­i­tary plan.

“You must never make Ja­pan a coun­try that re­peats the same mis­takes (of the past),” Yukio Yosh­ioka, an 86-year-old, told Abe dur­ing a brief meet­ing on Thurs­day, lo­cal media said.

In his an­nual speech, Hiroshima mayor Kazumi Mat­sui called nu­clear weapons an “ab­so­lute evil.”

About 140,000 peo­ple are es­ti­mated to have been killed in the

A Chi­nese news­pa­per with close ties to the rul­ing Com­mu­nist Party slammed Ja­pan on Thurs­day for com­mem­o­rat­ing the atomic bomb­ing of Hiroshima with­out high­light­ing its own wartime ag­gres­sion.

The Global Times tabloid, which is pub­lished un­der the Peo­ple’s Daily news­pa­per, the mouth­piece of the Com­mu­nist Party, con­ceded in an ed­i­to­rial that it was “un­der­stand­able” for Ja­pan to re­call the bomb­ing.

“But it must be pointed out that the cer­e­mony di­rects peo­ple’s at­ten­tion only to the fact that Ja­pan is a vic­tim of atomic Hiroshima at­tack, in­clud­ing those who sur­vived the bomb­ing it­self but died in the fol­low­ing days, weeks and months from ra­di­a­tion sick­ness.

Gums bled, teeth fell out, hair came off in clumps; there were can­cers, pre­ma­ture births, mal­formed ba­bies and sud­den deaths.

On Thurs­day, the In­ter­na­tional bomb­ing, but turns a blind eye to the rea­son why,” the English­language ed­i­to­rial said.

“Cer­e­monies like this wa­ter down the fact that Ja­pan was also a per­pe­tra­tor of war crimes. This shows how adept Ja­pan is at schem­ing and cal­cu­lat­ing.”

The Global Times crit­i­cized Abe, who wants Ja­pan to play a big­ger role in sup­port­ing its key ally the United States on de­fense is­sues and is push­ing land­mark leg­is­la­tion through par­lia­ment to en­able it.

“Abe wants to nor­mal­ize the sta­tus of his coun­try, but with­out a full ret­ro­spec­tion over Ja­pan’s war crimes,” it said. Com­mit­tee of the Red Cross said hos­pi­tals are still treat­ing thou­sands of bomb sur­vivors for longterm health ef­fects.

“I don’t know why I sur­vived and lived this long. The more I think about it ... the more painful it be­comes to re­call,” Hiroshima sur­vivor Su­nao Tsuboi, 90, told AFP be­fore the an­niver­sary.


(Top) Visi­tors pray for atomic bomb vic­tims in front of the ceno­taph at the Hiroshima Peace Me­mo­rial Park in Hiroshima, western Ja­pan, Thurs­day, Aug. 6. (Above) U.S. Un­der Sec­re­tary for Arms Con­trol and In­ter­na­tional Se­cu­rity Rose Got­te­moeller, cen­ter, and U.S. Am­bas­sador to Ja­pan Caro­line Kennedy, left, are es­corted by a Ja­panese se­cu­rity guard af­ter the cer­e­mony to mark the 70th an­niver­sary of the bomb­ing at the Hiroshima Peace Me­mo­rial Parkin Hiroshima, western Ja­pan Thurs­day.

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