Hiroshima, a major Japanese city, on Friday marked the 76th anniversary of the world’s first atomic bombing.
Gatekeepers News reports that the United States had detonated two nuclear weapons over Hiroshima on August 6 destroying the city and killing about 140,000 people. Also, on August 9, the U.S dropped a second bomb on another japanese city, Nagasaki, killing another 70,000.
Japan surrendered on August 15, ending World War II and its nearly half-century of aggression in Asia.
Countries still stockpiled nuclear weapons in the Cold War and a standoff continues to this day.
On Friday, Mayor of Hiroshima, Kazumi Matsui urged global leaders to unite to eliminate nuclear weapons, same way they are united against the COVID-19 pandemic which the international community recognises as “threat to humanity.”
“Nuclear weapons, developed to win wars, are a threat of total annihilation that we can certainly end, if all nations work together,” Matsui said.
“No sustainable society is possible with these weapons continually poised for indiscriminate slaughter.”
Gatekeepers News reports that the global Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons took effect in January after years of civil effort joined by the atomic bombing survivors, or hibakusha. But while more than 50 countries have ratified it, the treaty notably lacks the U.S. and other nuclear powers as well as Japan, which has relied on the U.S. nuclear umbrella for its defence since the war’s end.
Matsui reiterated his demand that his government “immediately” sign and ratify the treaty and join the discussion, to live up to the long-cherished wish of atomic bombing survivors. He also asked Japan to provide productive mediation between nuclear and non-nuclear weapons states.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who was present at the ceremony in Hiroshima, focused on the need for a more “realistic” approach to bridge the nuclear and non-nuclear weapons states and by strengthening the NPT.
However, Later at a news conference, Suga noted that he has no plan to sign the treaty.
“The treaty lacks support not only from the nuclear weapons states including the United States but also from many countries that do not possess nuclear arms,” Suga said.
“What’s appropriate is to seek a passage to realistically promote the nuclear disarmament.”
Many survivors of the bombings have permanent injuries and illnesses associated with the bombs and radiation exposure and faced discrimination in Japanese society.
The government started to medically assist certified survivors in 1968 after more than 20 years of effort by the survivors.
According to the Health and Welfare Ministry, 127,755 survivors, whose average age is now almost 84, are certified as hibakusha as of March and are eligible for government medical support.
Last month, Suga declared that the medical benefits would be extended to 84 Hiroshima survivors who had been denied aid because they were outside a government-set boundary.
The victims were exposed to radioactive “black rain” that fell in the city after the bombing and fought a long legal battle for their health challenges to be acknowledged.