Nagasaki Marks A-bomb Anniversary with Call for Nuclear-free Japan

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.

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67th Anniversary of Hiroshima Bombing – Aug 6th Ceremony Hopes for Record Attendance by Foreign Ambassadors

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.