Tens of thousands gathered in Hiroshima Thursday to mark 70 years since the dropping of the first atomic bomb, with opinion still divided over whether its deadly destruction was justified. Abe said that to demonstrate this determination, Japan will introduce a new resolution at the UN General Assembly seeking the abolition of nuclear weapons.
“You will be impelled to start discussing a legal framework, including a nuclear weapons convention”. By 1950, over 340,000 people had died as a result and generations were poisoned by radiation.
The memorial this year marked the 70th anniversary of the nuclear attacks on Japan on August 6th, 1945, which killed an estimated 140,000 people.
Matsui called nuclear weapons “the absolute evil and ultimate inhumanity” that must be abolished, and criticized nuclear powers for keeping them as threats to achieve their national interests.
The anniversary comes at the height of a debate in Japan over its role in conflicts overseas. Following Japan’s refusal to surrender, the US dropped another bomb on Nagasaki, killing 39,000 and injuring 25,000 more.
U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and representatives from more than 100 countries, including Britain, France and Russian Federation, attended the ceremony.
“The bombing, along side one other atomic assault on the town of Nagasaki two days later, are extensively credited with bringing the struggle within the Pacific to a swift conclusion”.
“My grandfather died here at that time and I keep wondering what he felt then”, said Tomiyo Sota.
People view paintings featuring world peace after the atomic bombing in Nagasaki, August 8, 2014.
His experience as a survivor of the world’s first nuclear attack led him to spend much of the past 70 years to “reflect on how humans could make peace”, said Tsunoi, who just celebrated his 90th birthday.
Seventy years ago in August 1945, the United States dropped atomic bombs three days apart on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan.
Washington, which has been a close ally of Tokyo since the war, has never officially apologised for the bombings. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum has collected their stories and drawings, along with artifacts from the bombing, like the famous burned tricycle once owned by a 3-year-old boy named Shinichi, the subject of the children’s book Shin’s Tricycle.