Hiroshima marks atomic bombing anniversary amid fears of a new nuclear arms race
Bells tolled in Hiroshima on Saturday as the city marked the 77th anniversary of the world’s first atomic bombing, with officials – including the United Nations Secretary-General – warning about a new arms race after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February; shortly after the start of the invasion, Russian President Vladimir Putin hid the possibility of a nuclear strike. The conflict has also raised concerns about the safety of Ukraine’s nuclear plants.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres joined thousands of people to the Peace Park in Hiroshima, in the heart of the city, to commemorate the bombing that killed 140,000 people in 1945. This was only the second time the Secretary-General had sign the United Nations to participate annually. Ceremony.
“Nuclear weapons are meaningless. They are not safe – only death and destruction,” Guterres said.
“Three quarters of a century later, we have to wonder what we learned from the mushroom cloud that rose over this city in 1945.”
The Russian ambassador was not invited to the celebration
Guterres avoided mentioning Russia directly, which called the invasion of Ukraine a “special military operation”.
Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui, whose city did not invite the Russian ambassador to attend this year’s ceremony, was more critical and critical of Moscow’s military actions in Ukraine.
“In invading Ukraine, the Russian leader, elected to protect the lives and property of his people, is using them as tools of war, taking the lives and livelihoods of civilians in a foreign country. another family,” said Matsui.
“Around the world, the view that peace depends on nuclear deterrence has gained momentum,” the mayor added.
“These flaws betray humanity’s determination, born of our war experience, to achieve a peaceful world without nuclear weapons. Accept the status quo and abandon the ideal of sole proprietorship. Maintaining peace without military force threatens the very existence of humanity.”
Russia’s ambassador to Japan, Mikhail Galuzin, offered flowers at a memorial stone in the park on Thursday, and told reporters his country would never use nuclear weapons.
Japanese PM calls for nuclear disarmament
At 8:15 a.m. on August 6, 1945, American B-29 fighter aircraft Enola Gay dropped a bomb nicknamed “Little Boy” and wiped out the city, with an estimated population of about 350,000 people. Thousands more died later from radiation-related injuries and illnesses.
On Saturday, as cicadas chirped in the thick summer air, the Peace Bell rang and the crowd, including Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who was from Hiroshima, observed a moment of silence. silence at the exact moment the bomb exploded.
Prime Minister Kishida, who has chosen Hiroshima as the venue for the Group of 7 summit next year, has called on the world to give up nuclear weapons.
Earlier this week, he became the first Japanese leader to participate in the Conference on Review of the Parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
“We will continue to work towards the ideal of nuclear disarmament even in the face of the current difficult security environment,” he said.
Following the Hiroshima disaster was the US military’s atomic bombing of Nagasaki on August 9, instantly killing more than 75,000 people. Japan surrendered six days later, ending World War II.
26:21As war in Ukraine breaks out, nuclear risk assessment