Tokyo, Aug 6 (EFE).- Hiroshima on Friday marked 76 years since the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city, with the mayor urging world peace through the signing of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
The ceremony in the Peace Park was reduced to 10 percent capacity due to the Covid-19 pandemic, limiting attendance to 880 participants, among which were survivors of the nuclear attack and their descendants, local leaders and representatives of 86 nations and the European Union.
After the customary minute of silence at 8.15 am, the exact moment of the bombing on Aug. 6, 1945, Mayor Kazumi Matsui appealed for an end to nuclear weapons.
“Nuclear weapons are the ultimate human violence. If civil society decides to live without them, the door to a nuclear-weapon-free world will open wide,” he said.
The mayor highlighted the fundamental role of Japan, the only country in the world that has suffered a nuclear attack, in serving as a mediator in the international community, and urged world leaders to support the United Nations nuclear weapons ban treaty.
In his declaration, the mayor celebrated the Treaty’s entry into force in January, following years of pushing by the hibakusha – survivors of the bombing and radioactive ‘black rain’ – and their continued work to get the message of peace and the abolition of nuclear weapons out to the world.
Mazumi also highlighted the need for more financial support for hibakusha.
Finally, the representative of a city that was reduced to ashes and in which almost 140,000 people died, celebrated the youth who he said will maintain and promote peace in the world.
In a subsequent speech and his first as leader, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga stressed that Japan “understands the inhumanity of nuclear weapons better than any other nation, so it is important for us to make steady efforts towards the realization of a world free of nuclear weapons.”
After the ceremony, 440 birds flew over the monument dedicated to the victims of the city, a number that has risen to 328,902, including those who died that day and since.
Three days after the bombing of Hiroshima, another was dropped on Nagasaki. EFE