Tokyo, Aug 9 (EFE).- The Japanese city of Nagasaki on Monday commemorated the 76th anniversary of its atomic bombing by the United States with a call to the international community, and especially the Japanese government, to achieve a world without nuclear weapons.
At the commemorative ceremony that began with a minute of silence at 11.02 am, the exact time of the bombing, Nagasaki’s Mayor Tomihisa Taue praised the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, calling its enactment “a new horizon” to achieving a world free of nuclear weapons.
“When the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons came into force this January, it was the first time in human history that there had been an international law clearly stating that nuclear weapons are unequivocally illegal,” Taue said in his address, in which he asked Japan to sign and ratify it as soon as possible.
Nuclear states “must face the reality that thinking of nuclear weapons as necessary to defend your countries under ‘nuclear deterrence’ actually makes the world a more dangerous place,” Taue told the approximately 500 people present at the ceremony, which was low profile again this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
None of the nuclear powers have signed the pact and nor has Japan, which is under the US nuclear umbrella.
Taue called for the creation of a “non-nuclear umbrella” instead of a “nuclear umbrella” and asked the Japanese government to join as an observer at the first meeting of the member states of the treaty, which will be held in 2022, and contribute their experience in providing assistance to victims.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga avoided any mention of that treaty in his speech and instead advocated the country’s current position of supporting the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
The atom bomb, nicknamed Fat Man, hit Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945, three days after the US dropped the first bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.
An estimated 74,000 people were killed by the Nagasaki bombing alone by the end of that year.
According to government data, the number of survivors of, known as hibakusha, stood at 127,755 in March, 8,900 less than a year earlier.
The survivors have an average age of almost 84 years, which is causing concern in the community about the efforts of sharing their testimonies to avoid a similar attack.
“Hiroshima will eternally be remembered in history as the first place to suffer an atomic bombing, but whether Nagasaki continues to take its place in history as the last place to suffer an atomic bombing depends on the future we build for ourselves,” said Taue.
He urged the adoption of a “clear path towards a nuclear-free world over the 25-year period that begins this year and brings us to the 100th anniversary of the atomic bombings.” EFE