Nagasaki calls for peace on 77th anniversary of atomic bombing

NHK -- Aug 09
People in Japan are remembering the victims of one of history's most catastrophic wartime attacks. Tuesday marks 77 years since the atomic bombing of Nagasaki during World War Two.

Survivors of the bombing, along with Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and representatives from dozens of countries, gathered at a ceremony on Tuesday to pray for a world without war and nuclear weapons.

Nagasaki fell silent at 11:02 a.m. -- the same minute the bomb exploded on August 9,1945. The heat rays, radiation and blast wave destroyed the city, killing more than 70,000 people by the end of that year.

Many who survived suffer from cancer and other diseases related to their exposure to radiation.

Nagasaki Mayor Taue Tomihisa referred in his peace declaration to the review conference of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, or the NPT, scheduled later this month. He stressed that the nuclear states hold a particular responsibility due to the NPT, and a concrete process for nuclear arms reductions must be shown.

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio stressed that his country is committed to pursuing a world without nuclear weapons. He said that even in the face of a severe security environment, humanity must continue the trend of not using nuclear weapons, and keep Nagasaki the last place to suffer an atomic bombing. The prime minister added that ensuring transparency, continuing to reduce nuclear arms, and upholding nuclear non-proliferation remain essential initiatives.

The average age of the atomic bomb survivors is now over 84. As they get older, it is becoming a challenge to pass on their experiences to future generations and to the world.

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