Nagasaki commemorated Sunday the nuclear attack that destroyed this city of western Japan 70 years ago, the mayor of the city and a survivor publicly criticizing the prerogatives building projects of the army of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe .
Sunday, people observed a minute of silence as bells and sirens sounded throughout Nagasaki.
On August 9, 1945 at 11 am 2, the explosion of the bomb A destroyed 80% of buildings in Nagasaki, including its famous Urakami Cathedral, and caused the deaths of some 74,000 people on the spot and later on the effect of radiation.
At exactly the same time Sunday (22 pm 2, Eastern time Saturday), people observed a minute of silence while the bells rang throughout Nagasaki, former counter of trade between Japan and abroad city known for its large Christian community.
Called “Fat Man”, the destroyer vehicle plutonium was originally intended to be dropped on the city of Kokura (north of Nagasaki), where a large weapons factory was. But adverse weather conditions forced the American B-29 bomber to switch targets.
Three days earlier, the first atomic bomb, “Little Boy”, had hit Hiroshima (west), killing about 140,000 people at the time of impact and later disease. Both US bombing would precipitate the Japanese surrender 15 August 1945 and the end of the Pacific War.
“I appeal to young people: Hear the word of the old and think about what you yourself can do for peace,” said the mayor of Nagasaki, Tomihisa Taue, before a crowd of 6700 people, including Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy among the representatives of 75 countries.
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And the mayor to invite “the US President [Barack] Obama and representatives of all countries possessing nuclear weapons” to come to Nagasaki. “The greatest force to eliminate nuclear weapons is in all of us,” he insisted during the ceremony broadcast live by NHK public television.
Then he challenged the first nationalist minister about laws currently being debated in Parliament to extend the prerogatives of the Japanese army on the outside.
“Concern, anxiety is now spreading among us the prospect that this commitment 70 years ago, that the principle of peace enshrined in the Japanese Constitution to be compromised,” he began loudly applauded by the crowd.
While the average age of “hibakusha” (surviving victims of the atomic bombs) exceeded 80 years, one of them, Sumiteru Taniguchi, 86, strongly criticized the legislation of the first nationalist minister to reinterpret pacifist Basic Law came into force in 1947, and never amended since.
“The defense laws that the government is trying to pass would jeopardize our many years of efforts for the abolition of nuclear weapons and shatter the hopes of the hibakusha,” said he said in a voice frail. “I can not tolerate these laws,” he launched in the presence of Mr. Abe.
Bruised cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are working through these ceremonies and recurring campaigns against nuclear weapons to perpetuate the memory of these disasters and spread a message of peace.
As in Hiroshima last Thursday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reiterated Japan’s willingness to advocate the abolition of nuclear weapons and non-proliferation.
“I renew the will of Japan, as the only country hit by the atomic bomb, to be a leader in the global movement against nuclear weapons,” he said, listing the international events in which he promises to work to convey this message.
Unlike his speech Hiroshima, Nagasaki that referred to the three rules that was imposed on Japan. In December 1967, the Japanese government had solemnly pledged not to manufacture, possess or let on Japanese territory nuclear weapons.
Although these “three non-nuclear principles” were not repeated verbatim by Mr. Abe Thursday at Hiroshima, the Prime Minister had said then that it was “a prerequisite” that was natural for the country.