Hiroshima marks 73rd anniversary of atomic bombing




  • In World
  • 2018-08-06 05:46:00Z
  • By Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) - Hiroshima marked the anniversary of the Aug. 6, 1945, atomic bombing of the city with a somber ceremony Monday to remember those killed and injured and a call to eliminate nuclear weapons amid hopes of denuclearizing North Korea.

Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui opened his speech by describing the hellish scene of the blast that morning 73 years ago and the agony of the victims, telling the audience to listen "as if you and your loved ones were there." Then he raised concerns about the global rise of egocentrism and tensions, and urged Japan's government to take more leadership toward achieving a truly nuclear-free world.

"Certain countries are blatantly proclaiming self-centered nationalism and modernizing their nuclear arsenals, rekindling tensions that had eased with the end of the Cold War," Matsui said, without identifying the nations. Nuclear deterrence and nuclear umbrellas are "inherently unstable and extremely dangerous" approaches that seek to maintain international order by only generating fear in rival countries, he said, urging world leaders to negotiate in good faith to eliminate nuclear arsenals instead.

The U.S. attack on Hiroshima killed 140,000 people, and the bombing of Nagasaki killed more than 70,000 three days later, leading to Japan's surrender and ending World War II.

Matsui said in his speech that Japan's government should do more to achieve a nuclear-free world by helping the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons take effect. Japan, which hosts U.S. troops and is covered by the U.S. nuclear umbrella protecting it from attack, has not signed the treaty.

Japan should live up to the spirit of its pacifist constitution to lead the international community "toward dialogue and cooperation for a world without nuclear weapons," Matsui said.

About 50,000 people, including Hiroshima residents and representatives from 58 countries, including U.S. Ambassador William Hagerty, attended this year's ceremony.

Survivors, their relatives and other participants marked the 8:15 a.m. blast with a minute of silence.

The anniversary comes amid hopes to denuclearize North Korea after President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made vague aspirational statements of denuclearizing the peninsula when they met in Singapore in June. "We in civil society fervently hope that the easing of tensions on the Korean Peninsula will proceed through peaceable dialogue," Matsui said.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who also was at the ceremony, said differences between the nuclear and non-nuclear states are widening. But he pledged to do more to bridge their gap. In order to gain cooperation from both sides, it is important for everyone to understand "the reality of the tragedy of nuclear attacks," he said, reiterating Japan's pledge to maintain its pacifist and non-nuclear principles.

___

Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchi

Find her work at https://www.apnews.com/search/mari%20yamaguchi

COMMENTS

More Related News

US blacklists Russian, Chinese companies for breaking North Korea embargo
US blacklists Russian, Chinese companies for breaking North Korea embargo

The US Treasury announced sanctions on Russian and Chinese companies Wednesday for violating the economic embargo on North Korea as Washington seeks to maintain pressure on Pyongyang over its nuclear program. The Treasury accused China-based Dalian Sun Moon Star International Logistics Trading Co and its Singapore-based affiliate, SINSMS Pte., of falsifying documents to facilitate shipments of alcohol and cigarettes to North Korea.

U.S. hits Chinese and Russian firms over breach of North Korea sanctions
U.S. hits Chinese and Russian firms over breach of North Korea sanctions

The United States imposed sanctions on a Russian port service agency and Chinese firms on Wednesday for aiding North Korean ships and selling alcohol and tobacco to Pyongyang in breach of U.S. sanctions aimed at pressuring North Korea to end its nuclear programs. The U.S. Treasury said in a statement

U.S. targets Chinese and Russian firms with breach of North Korea sanctions
U.S. targets Chinese and Russian firms with breach of North Korea sanctions
  • World
  • 2018-08-15 15:58:19Z

The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on a Russian port service agency and Chinese firms for aiding North Korean ships and selling alcohol and tobacco to Pyongyang in breach of U.S. sanctions aimed at pressuring North Korea to end its nuclear programs. In a statement, the U.S. Treasury said

South Korea
South Korea's Moon says he hopes for progress on denuclearization, treaty at next summit
  • World
  • 2018-08-15 02:19:29Z

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in said on Wednesday his planned third summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un next month would be another step towards the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and an end to the 1950-53 Korean War. Moon said he hoped for speedy progress in talks between

South Korea marks first
South Korea marks first 'comfort women' day, seen drawing Japan's protest
  • World
  • 2018-08-14 03:28:44Z

The ceremonies marking the first "Memorial Day for Japanese Forces' Comfort Women Victims" threaten to exacerbate a sensitive diplomatic issue with Japan, South Korea's neighbor and a key ally of the United States in efforts to contain North Korea. Japan has said the issue was resolved

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: World

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.