The world marked Thursday by a Hiroshima ceremony on 70th anniversary of the first nuclear bombing of history, which led to Japan’s surrender and the end of the Second World War.
At 8:15 (7:15 p.m. Wednesday, Montreal time), a young woman and a schoolboy hit a large bell hanging from a long wooden beam, immutable gesture made at the precise time when a US B-29 bomber named Enola Gay , high-flying, largua a uranium bomb and sowed fire and death on this great Japanese city.
In her dying of the mighty bell then wrapped the only song of cicadas, ubiquitous summer in Japan, a crowd of 55,000 people has gathered in the Peace Memorial Park in this city of 1.2 million inhabitants West of the archipelago became a symbol of pacifism.
With a destructive power equivalent to 16 kilotons of TNT, the bomb had brought the temperature to 4000 degrees to the ground, destroying all around. It is estimated at 140,000 the number of deaths at the time of impact and later, under the effect of irradiation.
“To coexist, we must abolish the absolute evil and the height of inhumanity of nuclear weapons. It is now time to act “, said after the minute of silence the mayor, Kazumi Matsui, in a speech before giving the floor to young children.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was there, surrounded by representatives from 100 countries, the largest number ever present in the ceremonies Hiroshima. Among them, the US ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, and US Deputy Secretary for Arms Control Rose Gottemoeller, the highest US official ever sent to Washington for annual commemorations.
“As the only country hit by nuclear weapons (…) we have a mission to create a world without nuclear weapons,” Abe told the crowd. “We have a responsibility to understand the inhumanity of nuclear weapons, across generations and borders,” he said.
The Prime Minister said his country would submit a new resolution to abolish nuclear weapons at the UN General Assembly this year.
Three days later, Nagasaki
“It was a sudden glow, white, silver,” had recently told AFP Sunao Tsuboi surviving 90 years old, “I do not know why I survived and lived so long. The more I think, the more the memory is painful. ”
As a young student, he was approximately 1.2 km from the impact. When he got up, his shirt, his pants and his skin floated in tatters, veins hung from his wounds, part of his ears was missing. He then saw a teenager whose eyeball was hanging right on the face and, nearby, a woman tried in vain to prevent his intestines fall.
Three days after Hiroshima, the US military dropped a plutonium bomb on the port city of Nagasaki, killing about 74,000 people. Both bombs were dealt a final blow to imperial Japan, who visited August 15, 1945, marking the end of World War II.
Seven decades later, the use of atomic weapons at the end of the Second World War still divides opinions. Some historians estimate that it has saved a far greater toll avoiding a ground attack of the Japanese archipelago, other than Japan was somehow close to defeat and that the two bombs were not necessary to end the conflict.
Fifty-six percent of Americans believe that the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were justified, according to a survey conducted in February by the Pew Research Center US research institute. 79% of Japanese surveyed by the think tank rather think they were unjustified.
Paul Tibbets, pilot of the Enola Gay, had said in an interview in 2002, five years before his death: “I know we did the right thing.”
Washington, very close ally of Tokyo since the war, has never expressed an official apology for the bombing.