Tokyo, Aug 5 (efe-epa).- Japan, the only country to have ever suffered a nuclear attack, is preparing to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a memory that continues to torment thousands of survivors who continue to cry out for the abolition of atomic weapons.
The events will take place Thursday in Hiroshima and Sunday in Nagasaki, the only two cities in the world that have suffered nuclear bombings, with events that will include the presence of authorities and survivors’ representatives.
The “Little Boy” bomb that fell on Hiroshima caused more than 100,000 deaths, while in Nagasaki “Fat Man” killed about 75,000 people.
“We can never repeat the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, when he confirmed that he would be present at the events to remember these attacks.
The anniversary, however, is commemorated without the treaty to ban nuclear weapons, which 122 countries signed Jul. 7, 2017 but needs to be ratified by at least 50, so far only reaching 40.
Many nations, including nuclear powers, refused to sign this treaty, and neither did Japan, the main regional ally of the United States, whose deterrence weapons, both conventional and nuclear, protect the Japanese nation.
That position, however, is not shared by survivors such as Keiko Ogura, who at a recent press conference called for more pressure to be put on Shinzo Abe’s government to sign the treaty and end weapons that only “a handful of nations have.”
The ceremony in Hiroshima will start at 8:00 local time (23:00 GMT Wednesday) and will last just under an hour. The moment the bomb fell will be marked by a moment of silent prayer with the tolling of a bell.
This will take place at the Peace Memorial Park, where the annual ritual of depositing the names of the people who became victims of the atomic attack due to the aftermath in a register will be carried out.
Tents were installed Wednesday with different initiatives to remember the Thursday anniversary.
“We should remember the history of war and act for peace,” Jyou Hakuga, a 21-year-old university student, told EFE in the park.
On Sunday it will be Nagasaki’s turn, where the events will begin at 10.45 local time (2.45 GMT), in the city’s Peace Park.
As in Hiroshima, the Nagasaki events will have a smaller number of participants due to the coronavirus pandemic, and only 500 seats have been reserved.
At that event, it is hoped that there will be a new appeal by Nagasaki for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
Its Mayor Tomihisa Taue said Tuesday in a contact with correspondents that the issue of nuclear weapons should not be considered as something of the past, which affected only Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but is a threat “of the present and the future.”
Tens of thousands of people who survived the atomic bombs are still alive, with an average age of 83 years.
Thanks to their memories and the stories they often tell, as Taue said, “there has not been a third bomb that has destroyed a city in these 75 years,” a mission to which the aforementioned Hiroshima survivor also alluded.
“The only thing I can do is continue to tell these stories, telling people what we have seen, what we have experienced. These things should not happen again,” Keiko Ogura said. EFE-EPA