Nagasaki marks the 70th anniversary of the dropping of the A-bomb with bells and a minute of silence.
NAGASAKI, JAPAN (AUGUST 9, 2015) (TV Q) – A bell tolled in Nagasaki on Sunday (August 9) morning as the Japanese city marked 70 years since the dropping of the last atomic bomb on a civilian target in the closing days of World War Two.
The memorial ceremony, held at the Nagasaki Peace Park, took place right under where the bomb exploded at 11:02 (0202 GMT) on August 9, 1945.
The United States dropped the atomic bomb nicknamed “Fat Man” on Nagasaki three days after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
More than 150,000 died in the attack and from the subsequent radiation sickness. Japan surrendered six days later, ending World War Two.
At the memorial, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he was renewing his vows to push more nuclear disarmament.
“As the world’s only country to have experienced an atomic bomb during a war, and in adherence to our three non-nuclear principles, I have renewed our vows to lead the world in the effort towards nuclear disarmament in order to achieve a world without nuclear weapons,” he said,
referring to a phrase in a Japanese parliament resolution of the late 1960s which reads:
“Japan shall neither possess nor manufacture nuclear weapons, nor shall it permit their introduction into Japanese territory.”
Abe was heavily criticised by the media and in parliament earlier this week for not including the phrase in his speech in Hiroshima.
With Abe listening, Nagasaki mayor Tomihisa Taue warned of growing public concern over Japan’s commitment to its pacifist pledge.
“Currently there is a debate in our parliament over laws that will change the nature of our national security. There is also growing worry and concern that our resolve from 70 years ago, the ideal of our peace constitution, is starting to waver. I ask that the government and parliament listen to the worries and concerns of the people and debate this using their wisdom in a careful and in a sincere manner,” Taue said as the audience erupted in applause.
Abe and his government are pushing security bills through parliament that could send Japanese troops into conflict for the first time since World War Two, sparking massive protests around the country.
A representative of the United Nations, Kim Won-soo, also took the stand to voice UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s resolve to make progress in nuclear disarmament.
“Nagasaki must be the last. We can not allow the future use of any nuclear weapons. Their humanitarian consequences are too great. I whole-heartedly join you in sounding a global rallying cry: ‘No More Nagasakis, No More Hiroshimas,” Kim said delivering the Secretary-General’s words released earlier this week.
The world is believed to have more than 10,000 nuclear weapons, according to Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Nuclear Notebook 2014.