Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Summer Oratorio: The 61st Anniversary Of The Atomic Bombing Of Hiroshima And Nagasaki, Japan

"The Japanese city of Nagasaki has mourned the 61st anniversary of the world's second and last nuclear attack, with its mayor voicing anger that non-proliferation efforts were "collapsing".

Some 4,600 people, ranging from aging survivors to local teenagers, offered a minute of silent prayers under hot sunshine at 11:02 am (0202 GMT), the moment of the blast in 1945.

The US nuclear bomb, codenamed "Fat Man" after Winston Churchill, killed more than 70,000 people in Nagasaki, a southern port city known for its early openness to foreign trade and large Christian community.

The bomb was even larger than "Little Boy" which was dropped three days earlier on Hiroshima, killing some 140,000 people. Japan surrendered on August 15, ending World War II.

Nagasaki Mayor Iccho Ito offered an impassioned plea to step up efforts to control nuclear weapons.

"What is the human race doing?" he said in his address. "The world's nuclear non-proliferation regime faces the risk of collapsing."

"Sixty-one years since the bombing, the city of Nagasaki is filled with anger and frustration," Ito said. "The nuclear powers are not making sincere efforts for nuclear arms reduction."

He criticized the United States for reaching a civilian-use nuclear deal with India, which was initially ostracized by Western powers and Japan for declaring itself an atomic power in 1998.

"In particular, the United States is giving tacit approval to India's nuclear arms development," Ito said.

He also criticized Iran, Israel, and Pakistan for their declared or suspected nuclear programs and singled out self-declared nuclear neighbor North Korea..."

Harumi Ozawa "Nagasaki warns against nuclear arms on A-bomb anniversary" YahooNews August 9, 2006

Photo credit: (c) Agence France Presse/Jij Press 2006. With thanks.


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