TOKYO – The Japanese city of Hiroshima has urged young people not to forget or belittle the atomic tragedy on the 74th anniversary of the atomic bombing.
Local authorities have also called on world leaders, especially Japan, to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
The city’s mayor Kazumi Matsui said in a speech at a ceremony commemorating the anniversary of the tragedy: “To face our current circumstances and achieve a peaceful and sustainable world, we must transcend differences in status or opinion.
“To achieve this, future generations must not dismiss atomic bombing and war as mere facts of the past.”
The event was held at the Peace Park, located near the explosion zone, and attended by representatives from 90 countries.
Matsui read poems and letters written by survivors, in which they described the horrors of the bombing and ask that something like this does not happen to future generations.
“We are enough,” one said.
The mayor also asked society to adopt a “spirit of tolerance” to work together against current adversities, including the rise of nationalism and stalled nuclear disarmament.
“Having lived two world wars, our elders pursued an ideal: a world beyond war,” he added.
“They promised to build a system of international cooperation.
“Shouldn’t we remember and, for human survival, fight for that ideal world?
“I ask this especially you young people who have never known war but who will lead the future.”
Matsui said that world leaders must move forward in “promoting the ideal of civil society.”
He called on Japan to join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also spoke at the ceremony about the goal of achieving a world without nuclear weapons.
The United States detonated two nuclear weapons over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August 1945 respectively.
In Hiroshima, the bomb had an intensity of about 16 kilotons at about 600 meters high and immediately killed around 80,000 people.
Three days later, a second bomb was launched on Nagasaki, forcing Japan’s capitulation six days later and ending World War II.
The two bombings killed between 129,000 and 226,000 people and in subsequent years there were more than double that number of victims of radiation.