8 Août 2017
August 6, 2017
Hiroshima 72nd A-bomb anniversary
Tens of thousands of people gathered Sunday in Hiroshima to reflect on a tragedy that changed the course of history. They're marking the 72nd anniversary since the US detonated an atomic bomb over the city in 1945.
About 50,000 people gathered at the Peace Memorial Park to honor the victims. Survivors known as Hibakusha joined the crowd. Their average age is now 81.
Representatives from 80 countries also attended.
People observed a moment of silence at 8:15 AM, the exact time the bomb hit the city.
Officials placed a list of 308,725 victims in a cenotaph.
It includes the names of 5,530 people who died or were confirmed to have died in the past year.
Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui delivered a declaration of peace. He quoted from survivors, who described the scenes of devastation and despair that followed the bombing and who spoke of their desire for peace.
The mayor said "This hell is not a thing of the past. As long as nuclear weapons exist and policymakers threaten their use, their horror could leap into our present at any moment. You could find yourself suffering their cruelty."
Matsui referred to a treaty to ban nuclear weapons that was adopted by 122 counties and territories at the UN.
Non-signatories are expected to include nuclear powers such as the US and Russia and countries that rely on the nuclear umbrella, including Japan.
Matsui urged the Japanese government to help bridge the divide over the treaty.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said "To truly achieve a world without nuclear weapons, it is essential for both countries with and without nuclear weapons to work together. Our country abides by its 3 non-nuclear principles of not possessing, producing or allowing nuclear arms on its land. And we are determined to lead the world by closely working with the 2 sides with this goal in mind."
Abe said that to do this, Japan needs to pass on the memory of its tragic experiences as one shared by all human beings across generations and borders.
Abe also expressed his commitment to the Review Conference of the conventional nuclear disarmament treaty in 2020. The treaty allows some countries to have nuclear weapons, but commits all to eventual disarmament.
Japan will also mark the bombing of Nagasaki on Wednesday.