With August 6th this year marking the 67th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing on Hiroshima, 73 ambassadors from foreign countries are expected to be in attendance at this year’s ceremonial event. This will be the first year that an envoy from Britain will come to Japan for the event, however ambassadors from several countries recognized as nuclear powers haven’t yet responded to their invitations. France, Russia, and even the United States are among those not yet confirmed.
Invitations were sent for ambassadors from a total of 152 countries. Last year’s ceremony was attended by 66 representatives, but the record high was in 2010 with 74 in attendance. Hiroshima officials have also said that Tamotsu Baba, mayor of Namie, will be the first local leader from Fukushima Prefecture, still recovering from last year’s nuclear disaster, to take part. The ceremony is held every year in Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park, and begins at 8 AM.
The other Japanese city to be hit by an atomic bomb, Nagasaki, will have the belongings of bombing survivor Tsutomu Yamaguchi on display at an exhibit in Reykjavik, Iceland. Nagasaki National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims has sent nine items of Yamaguchi, such as a notebook with poetry about world peace, and drafts of speeches about his experiences, to be displayed from August 9th to October 9th. Interestingly, the people in Reykjavik commemorate the August 6th and 9th anniversaries of the bombings on Japan every year by floating paper lanterns and wishing for an end to the use of nuclear weapons.
The cenotaph for atomic bomb victims at Hiroshimas Peace Memorial Park was found defaced with what appears to be golden paint in the early hours of Wednesday, police said. Paint was sprayed over part of the cenotaphs inscription, which reads, “Let all souls here rest in peace, for we shall not repeat the evil,” the police said.
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.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Saturday took his campaign against nuclear energy in Japan to Hiroshima which 66 years ago became the world’s first victim of an atomic bomb.
It marks a change of tack in a country which has until now carefully avoided linking its fast growing, and now discredited, nuclear power industry to its trauma as the only country to have been attacked with atomic bombs.
Kan, speaking at an anniversary ceremony for victims of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, repeated that the world’s worst nuclear crisis in 25 years at Fukushima after a March earthquake convinced him Japan should end its dependence on nuclear power.
HIROSHIMA — The counter on the "peace clock" monument in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum that shows the number of days since the last nuclear test was reset Tuesday following recent U.S. tests to examine the effectiveness of its nuclear weapons with the use of plutonium.Nuclear watch: An official at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum on Tuesday resets the "peace clock," which shows the number of days that have elapsed since the last nuclear test, from 251 to 54 following recent tests by the U.S. KYODO In the 14th reset since the clocks debut in August 2001, the digital counter was changed to 54 from 251, denoting the number of days since March 31 when the United States conducted its latest nuclear test.The clock was last reset on Oct. 13, 2010, following the U.S. announcement that it had conducted a subcritical nuclear test earlier that year.