Nagasaki: AP News: Nagasaki marks 78th anniversary of atomic bombing with mayor urging world to abolish nuclear weapons

[Almost no one is paying attention. Voices crying in the wilderness. Luke 19: 39 Then some of the Pharisees in the crowd spoke to Jesus. “Teacher,” they said, “command your disciples to be quiet!”

40 Jesus answered, “I tell you that if they keep quiet, the stones themselves will start shouting.”]

TOKYO (AP) — Nagasaki marked the 78th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of the city Wednesday with the mayor urging world powers to abolish nuclear weapons, saying nuclear deterrence also increases risks of nuclear war.

Shiro Suzuki made the remark after the Group of Seven industrial powers adopted a separate document on nuclear disarmament in May that called for using nuclear weapons as deterrence.

“Now is the time to show courage and make the decision to break free from dependence on nuclear deterrence,” Nagasaki Mayor Shiro Suzuki said in his peace declaration Wednesday, “As long as states are dependent on nuclear deterrence, we cannot realize a world without nuclear weapons.”

Russias nuclear threat has encouraged other nuclear states to accelerate their dependence on nuclear weapons or enhance capabilities, further increasing the risk of nuclear war, and that Russia is not the only one representing the risk of nuclear deterrence, Suzuki said.

Nagasaki Mushroom cloud: 70,000 killed at once.

The United States dropped the worlds first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, destroying the city and killing 140,000 people. A second attack three days later on Nagasaki killed 70,000 more people. Japan surrendered on Aug. 15, ending World War II and its nearly halfcentury of aggression in Asia.

At 11:02 a.m., the moment the bomb exploded above the southern Japanese city, participants at the ceremony observed a moment of silence with the sound of a peace bell.

Suzuki expressed concern about the tragedy being forgotten as time passed and memories fade. Survivors have expressed frustration about the slow progress of disarmament, while the reality of the atomic bombing and their ordeals are not yet widely shared around the world.

The concern comes after widespread reaction to social media posts about the “Barbenheimer” summer blitz of the “Barbie” and “Oppenhheimer” movies that triggered outrage in Japan.

The combination of “Barbie” and a biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer — who helped develop the atomic bomb — sparked memes, including of mushroom clouds. The craze was seen as minimizing the ghastly toll of the Nagasaki and Hiroshima bombings.

Suzuki, whose parents were hibakusha, or survivors of the Nagasaki attack, said knowing the reality of the atomic bombings is the starting point for achieving a world without nuclear weapons. He said the survivors’ testimonies are a true deterrence against nuclear weapons use.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who did not attend the memorial in person, acknowledged in his video message that the path toward a nuclearfree world has grown tougher because of rising tensions and conflicts, including Russias war on Ukraine. Also weighing on the disarmament movemement is a deeper division in the international community.

Kishida, who represents Hiroshima in parliament, has sought to showcase the G7 commitment to nuclear disarmament but has angered the survivors for justifying nuclear arms possession for deterrence and for refusing to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Suzuki demanded Kishidas government and national lawmakers quickly sign and ratify the treaty and attend the upcoming meeting as an observer “to clearly show Japans resolve to abolish nuclear weapons.”

As Washingtons ally, Japan is under the U.S. nuclear umbrella and seeks stronger protection as the allies reinforce security cooperation to deal with threats from China and North Koreas nuclear and missile advancement. Under its new national security strategy, Kishidas government is pushing for a military buildup focusing on strike capability.

As of March, 113,649 survivors, whose average age is 85, are certified as hibakusha and eligible for government medical support, according to the Health and Welfare Ministry. Many others, including those known as victims of the “black rain” that fell outside the initially designated areas, are still without support.

Nagasaki nuclear memorial: Never again.


2 thoughts on “Nagasaki: AP News: Nagasaki marks 78th anniversary of atomic bombing with mayor urging world to abolish nuclear weapons”

  1. A shocking reminder that in 1995 we were in Hiroshima on the 50th anniversary of that bombing. We met a woman’s choir singing in the Peace Memorial Park which we learned had been organized by the American Friends Service Committee in the period after the bombing. I’ll never forget the floating lanters in the river and the warm hospitality given us by the people there. We were also priviledged to march in costume with a Buddhist congregation as part of yet another annual festival.

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