The Japan News by The Yomiuri Shimbun

77th anniversar­y of A-bombing commemorat­ed in Hiroshima

Mayor slams Russia in peace declaratio­n

- The Yomiuri Shimbun

HIROSHIMA — Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui called on the world to “immediatel­y render all nuclear buttons meaningles­s” in his peace declaratio­n at a ceremony on the 77th anniversar­y of the atomic bombing of the city on Saturday.

The presence of U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres marked the rst time in 12 years that a sitting U.N. chief has attended the annual ceremony, which was held amid increased threats of nuclear weapons in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia’s ambassador to Japan was not invited to the ceremony.

Hibakusha atomic bomb survivors, representa­tives of victims’ families, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and various countries’ ambassador­s to Japan were among those who o ered prayers for the victims.

The ceremony began at 8 a.m. at the Peace Memorial Park in Naka Ward, Hiroshima City.

At 8:15 a.m, the time the atomic bomb was dropped, representa­tives of families of the deceased rang the Peace Bell, and attendees observed a minute’s silence.

Matsui condemned Russian threats to use nuclear weapons in his peace declaratio­n. Quoting Leo Tolstoy, the Russian author of “War and Peace,” the mayor said, “Never build your happiness on the misfortune of others, for only in their happiness can you nd your own.”

Hiroshima is scheduled to host a Group of Seven summit in May. Matsui said, “I call on the leaders of the nuclear-weapon states to visit the atomic-bombed cities where they can personally encounter the consequenc­es of using nuclear weapons.”

The prime minister in his speech said, “We’re determined to work toward bridging the reality of the harsh security environmen­t with the ideal of a world free of nuclear weapons.”

Regarding the G7 summit, Kishida said, “In Hiroshima, we’ll demonstrat­e our pledge to the world that humanity should never again su er the horrors of a nuclear attack.”

This year, a total of 3,550 seats were prepared at the venue, about four times the number set for the ceremonies in 2021 and 2020, which were scaled back due to the novel coronaviru­s pandemic.

In the wake of the fatal shooting of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the number of police o cers and city o cials providing security at the venue was increased, and metal detectors were used to screen attendees for the rst time.

The names of 4,978 hibakusha who died over the past year were added to a cenotaph commemorat­ing victims of the atomic bombing, which now includes the names of 333,907 people.

As of the end of March, there were 118,935 surviving hibakusha with an average age of 84.53 nationwide, about 92,000 fewer than 10 years ago, according to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.


Kishida on Saturday agreed with Guterres to work together to realize a “world without nuclear weapons.”

Kishida and Guterres held talks at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima.

“As the only country to have experience­d atomic bombings in war, [Japan] must lead the way toward a world without nuclear weapons,” Kishida said at the meeting.

Guterres stressed that nuclear nonprolife­ration and nuclear disarmamen­t are inseparabl­e, and that e orts must be made to make both possible. e U.N. chief also expressed con dence that Japan will play a role in realizing nuclear abolition.

(Published in print on Aug. 7)

 ?? Yomiuri Shimbun photos ?? People offer prayers for the victims of the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima in the city’s Peace Memorial Park on Saturday to mark the 77th anniversar­y of the attack.
Yomiuri Shimbun photos People offer prayers for the victims of the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima in the city’s Peace Memorial Park on Saturday to mark the 77th anniversar­y of the attack.
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