Hiroshima 70th anniversary: Japanese prime minister calls for end to nuclear weapons

Shinzo Abe said world leaders must 'open their eyes to the reality of the atomic bombings'

Caroline Mortimer
Thursday 06 August 2015 13:11
Comments
The families of Hiroshima victims at the ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary in the peace park
The families of Hiroshima victims at the ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary in the peace park

Japan has marked the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima with a renewed call for an end to nuclear weapons.

Tens of thousands of people stood for a minute's silence at 8:15am local time near the epicentre of the attack - now the Hiroshima peace park - to mark the moment the bomb hit.

Speaking at the service, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Japan, as the only country who has been attacked with nuclear weapons, “has an obligation to realise a world without nuclear weapons”.

The bomb was dropped on Hiroshima at 8:15am on 6th August 1945

He said: "President Obama and other policymakers, please come to the A-bombed cities, hear the hibakusha (surviving victims) with your own ears, and encounter the reality of the atomic bombings.

Hiroshima in September 1945. Before the attack it was a city with a population of over 400,000

"Surely, you will be impelled to start discussing a legal framework, including a nuclear weapons convention."

Mr Abe also announced the next G7 summit, due to be hosted by Japan next year, will be held in Hiroshima.

The two nuclear bombs, dubbed “Little Boy” and “Fat Boy” by the Americans, were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6th and 9th August 1945, killing at least 210,000 thousand people in the initial impacts.

Doves are released as a sign of peace during the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony

The “Little Boy” bomb destroyed 90 per cent of Hiroshima and cause a “black rain” of radioactive particles which has been linked to higher rates of cancer and radiation related diseases among the survivors.

The US justified the attack saying American soldiers would have had to launch a long and protracted ground war on the Japanese mainland which would have prolonged the war.

A girl offers a prayer for victims of the atomic bombing during World War II in 1945

A fierce battle for the Okinawan islands had already killed 12,520 Americans and an estimated 200,000 Japanese, mostly civilians.

The Mayor of Hiroshima, Kazumi Matsui called nuclear weapons “the absolute evil and ultimate inhumanity” and attacked nuclear powers for continuing to keep them as threats to achieve their national interests.

He said there are still approximately 15,000 nuclear weapons worldwide.

Additional reporting by AP

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in