WORLD NEWS

Hiroshima marks 76th anniversary of US atomic bombing

Published on August 5, 2021 9:04 PM

by MARI YAMAGUCHI

Story Source

World Stories Search World
 
TOKYO — Hiroshima on Friday marked the 76th anniversary of the world's first atomic bombing, as the mayor of the Japanese city urged global leaders to unite to eliminate nuclear weapons, just as they are united against the coronavirus.

Mayor Kazumi Matsui urged world leaders to commit to nuclear disarmament as seriously as they tackle the pandemic that the international community recognizes as "threat to humanity."

"Nuclear weapons, developed to win wars, are a threat of total annihilation that we can certainly end, if all nations work together," Matsui said. "No sustainable society is possible with these weapons continually poised for indiscriminate slaughter."

The United States dropped the world's first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, destroying the city and killing 140,000 people. It dropped a second bomb three days later on Nagasaki, killing another 70,000. Japan surrendered Aug. 15, ending World War II and its nearly half-century of aggression in Asia. But countries stockpiled nuclear weapons in the Cold War and a standoff continues to this day.

The global Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons took effect in January after years of civil effort joined by the atomic bombing survivors, or hibakusha. But while more than 50 countries have ratified it, the treaty notably lacks the U.S. and other nuclear powers as well as Japan, which has relied on the U.S. nuclear umbrella for its defense since the war's end.

Matsui renewed his demand that his own government "immediately" sign and ratify the treaty and join the discussion, to live up to the long-cherished wish of atomic bombing survivors. He also demanded Japan provide productive mediation between nuclear and non-nuclear weapons states...