Hiroshima A-bomb victims remembered after 75 years
NHK -- Aug 06
People in Japan are taking a moment to pause and remember the victims of a catastrophic event.

Seventy five years ago, an American warplane dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

An estimated 140,000 people lost their lives by the end of the year.

While following safety measures in place for the coronavirus, people haven't been prevented from reflecting on the tragedy and praying for world peace.

A 91-year-old survivor of the bombing said, "When you think about that time, it's tragic and cruel. This kind of tragedy should never happen again."

A man in his 50s said, "My parents are survivors. I've come here to tell victims that I will never forget them even though I haven't been able to do anything to abolish nuclear weapons."

About 800 people attended the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony including survivors of the bombing, known as hibakusha. They are getting older with their average age now over 83.

Representatives of 80 countries were also there.

Due to the pandemic, the number of people attending the event was limited to less than one-tenth of the usual.

Hiroshima Mayor Matsui Kazumi placed a list of the victims in a cenotaph. It includes the names of 4,943 survivors who died over the past year.

324,129 people are now commemorated in the monument.

The city fell silent at 8:15 a.m., the exact moment when the US bomb struck the city.

In the peace declaration, the mayor urged world leaders to work toward a security system that does not rely on nuclear weapons.

Matsui said, "As the only nation to suffer a nuclear attack, Japan must persuade the global public to unite with the spirit of Hiroshima. To enhance its role as mediator between the nuclear-weapon and non-nuclear-weapon states, I ask the Japanese government to heed the appeal of the hibakusha that it sign and ratify, and become a party to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons."

Nuclear powers like the US and Russia do not support the treaty. And Japan, which relies on nuclear protection from the US, hasn't signed it.

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has maintained Japan will not join the UN treaty. He has said the treaty's goal of nuclear abolishment is the same as Japan's, but their approaches are different.

Abe said, "While adhering to the Three Non-Nuclear Principles, our nation will serve as a bridge between countries that take different stands and persist in urging dialogue and prompting them into action. By doing so, we will lead efforts made by the global community to realize a world without nuclear weapons."

The prime minister also said Japan will work to make the next review conference of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty a significant one.

The meeting was due to be held in April, but postponed to next year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A local high school choir brought the ceremony to a close with a song calling for peace.

原爆投下から75年を迎えました。広島市の松井一実市長は平和記念式典で核兵器や新型コロナといった人類の脅威に対して「連帯」して立ち向かう必要性を訴えました。  松井一実広島市長:「今、私たちは新型コロナウイルスという人類に対する新たな脅威に立ち向かい、もがいていますが、この脅威は悲惨な過去の経験を反面教師にすることで乗り越えられるのではないでしょうか。約100年前に流行したスペイン風邪は第1次世界大戦中で敵対する国家間での『連帯』がかなわなかったため数千万人の犠牲者を出し、世界中を恐怖に陥れました。その後、国家主義の台頭もあって第2次世界大戦へと突入し、原爆投下へとつながりました。こうした過去の苦い経験を決して繰り返してはなりません。そのために私たち市民社会は自国第一主義によることなく、『連帯』して脅威に立ち向かわなければなりません」  6日午前8時から開かれた平和記念式典で松井市長はこのように述べたうえで、「核兵器禁止条約」への署名・批准を政府に対して去年より強く求めました。被爆75年の今年、被爆者の平均年齢は83歳を超え、あの日の惨状を話せる人は年々、少なくなっています。今年は座席の間隔を2メートル空け、座席数を去年の1割に制限するなど例年とは違った式典となりました。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
Oct 27
A Japanese YouTuber and two men were referred to prosecutors on Monday for allegedly placing a mattress on the sidewalk in front of the busy Shibuya scramble crossing in central Tokyo as part of a prank video, investigative sources said. (Kyodo)
Oct 27
A man in custody in connection with a decapitated corpse found in a residence in Kashiwazaki City last week has told police the body is that of his “brother,” police have revealed, reports the Niigata Nippo (Oct. 24). (tokyoreporter.com)
Oct 27
A man already in custody for an alleged assault was served a fresh arrest warrant Monday, making him the first cyclist to be charged for a road rage incident under a recently revised traffic law aimed at curbing dangerous driving. (Japan Times)
Oct 25
A 17-year-old boy jumped to his death from a shopping mall and entertainment complex in Osaka on Friday, and hit a 19-year-old girl walking below. The girl died in hospital on Saturday. (Japan Today)
Oct 25
Relatives of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea and government officials took part in a memorial service on Saturday for Yokota Shigeru who passed away in June. He was the father of abductee Yokota Megumi. (NHK)
Oct 24
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a 29-year-old male elementary school teacher for allegedly requesting that a boy send him indecent pictures, reports NHK (Oct. 23). (tokyoreporter.com)
Oct 23
A 36-year-old man who is suspected of murdering his girlfriend in Takasaki City has said told his wife that he committed the crime before he died in an apparent suicide, police have revealed, reports TBS News (Oct. 21). (tokyoreporter.com)
Oct 23
Halloween in Japan is expected to be celebrated in new ways this year, at socially distanced events or online with revelers upping their facial decorations, as attempts are being made to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. (Japan Times)
Oct 22
A man who fled from Saitama Prefectural Police during a search of his residence in Saitama City on Tuesday morning remains on the run, police have revealed, reports Nippon News Network (Oct. 20). (tokyoreporter.com)
Oct 21
A former top bureaucrat accused of murdering his socially reclusive son last year entered a plea of not guilty on the grounds of self-defense at the first hearing of his appeal trial Tuesday. (Japan Times)
Oct 21
A man suspected of fatally stabbing a 30-year-old woman in a car in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture, on Sunday night, has been found dead in a hotel room in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, police said Tuesday. (Japan Today)
Oct 21
A bear wandered into a large shopping center in Kaga City, Ishikawa Prefecture, on Monday morning and remained there all day until it was killed. (Japan Today)
Oct 21
The parents of 3-year-old and 1-year-old girls were given a suspended prison sentence Tuesday for leaving their daughters at home in Kagoshima while the couple stayed at a hotel for more than a week after receiving the government’s COVID-19 cash handout. (Japan Times)
Oct 20
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a former staff member at a special needs facility who is suspected of repeatedly raping a disabled elementary school girl, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Oct. 17). (tokyoreporter.com)
Oct 20
Former Empress Michiko turned 86 on Tuesday, marking her birthday amid the coronavirus pandemic that has caused her to spend the majority of her time quietly at her residence in Tokyo. (Kyodo)
Oct 20
Maisa Tsuno, a member of popular Japanese rock band Akaiko-en, has died, the group's agency said Monday, with police suspecting suicide. (Kyodo)
Oct 20
A 30-year-old woman died after being found with multiple stab wounds inside a car in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture, on Sunday night. (Japan Today)
Oct 19
Ten members of the Shiki Theatre Company have contracted the novel coronavirus, according to the famed Japanese theatrical company. (Japan Times)
Oct 18
A black bear attacked four people ranging in age from their 50s to 90s and damaged a police car Friday in central Japan before being shot to death, police and other local authorities said. (Japan Today)
Oct 16
Tokyo Metropolitan Police are planning to accuse a deceased man of fatally stabbing his former girlfriend in Nakano Ward earlier this year, reports TBS News (Oct. 14). (tokyoreporter.com)