The mayor of Nagasaki on Thursday called for a Japan free of nuclear fears as the city marked the 67th anniversary of its World War II atomic bombing by the United States.
“Even during wartime there are certain unacceptable actions,” Tomihisa Taue told a commemoration ceremony held to remember the 74,000 people who died either instantly or in the months and years after the bombing.
Taue pledged support for people whose lives have been upended by meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station after it was swamped by the tsunami of March 2011.
PYONGYANG, North Korea – A team of Japanese doctors arrived Tuesday in North Korea to examine victims of the 1945 atomic bombings of Japan, a trip that may help improve dismal ties between the countries.
Footage from Associated Press Television News in Pyongyang showed the doctors being greeted at the airport by North Korean officials. The doctors from the Hiroshima Prefectural Medical Association are expected to be in North Korea until Saturday.
Relations between the two countries are badly frayed. Japan has maintained a tight trade embargo on North Korea since Pyongyang conducted nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.
The amount of radioactive cesium ejected by the Fukushima reactor meltdowns is about 168 times higher than that emitted in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the government’s nuclear watchdog said Friday.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency provided the estimate at the request of a Diet panel but noted that making a simple comparison between an instantaneous bomb blast and a long-term accidental leak is problematic and could lead to "irrelevant" results.
The report said the crippled Fukushima No. 1 plant has released 15,000 terabecquerels of cesium-137, which lingers for decades and can cause cancer, compared with the 89 terabecquerels released by the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
For more than 65 years, the worst event in Japan’s modern history stood alone, with nothing afterward momentous enough to change its lessons. Those who survived the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki decided that similar bombs should never be dropped again. To ensure that outcome, they called for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
Nuclear power, though, was another matter. Japan’s nationwide survivors’ group never rallied against nuclear-generated energy as such, perhaps because many saw a redemptive justice in using it peacefully. Reactors could power the country’s economy, they hoped, by harnessing the same force that once caused so much damage.
Then on March 11, the damage was reprised. The tsunami-triggered meltdowns at three Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors were nowhere near as acute or deadly as the cataclysm that engulfed Hiroshima.