Nagasaki Calls for a Ban on Nuclear Weapons But There is No One To Hear

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(— August 10, 2020) —  Calling on world leaders and their own leaders to do more to impose a ban on nuclear weapons, citizens from the Japanese city of Nagasaki marked the 75th anniversary of the American atomic bomb explosion that destroyed their city killing thousands of people in a single blast and many more due to the radiation that spread after the blast polluting soil and water.

At 11:02 local time, the exact time when the B-29 plane dropped the 4.5-ton plutonium bomb called “Fat Man”, survivors of the Nagasaki bombing and other participants observed a minute of silence in honor of the more than 70,000 dead.

This bombing on August 9, 1945, occurred three days after the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, in the first nuclear attack in human history, instantly killing more than 140,000 people. Japan capitulated on August 15, which marked the ending of World War II.

At the ceremony at the Peace Park in Nagasaki, in a reduced version due to the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor Tomihisa Taue read the peace statement.

The statement expressed concern that countries with nuclear weapons have given up on disarmament efforts in recent years. Instead, they are researching and improving nuclear weapons and reducing them for easier use, the mayor said.

Taue specifically pointed to the United States and Russia because they terminated the Agreement on Medium-Range Nuclear Forces.

“As a result, the threat from the use of nuclear weapons is becoming more and more real,” Taue said.

He pointed out that the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) entered into force 50 years ago.

Taue called on the United States and Russia to show their nuclear disarmament and how the process of revising that agreement next year can work.

“The real horror of nuclear weapons has not yet been adequately transmitted to the world,” despite efforts to make Nagasaki the last place such a tragedy occurred, he said.

He also called on the Japanese government and MPs to quickly sign the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has repeatedly refused to sign the agreement, saying that Japan’s approach is not to take sides but to serve as a bridge between nuclear-weapon and non-nuclear-weapon states, and to encourage dialogue to achieve a total ban on nuclear weapons.

Survivors and pacifist groups believe that by refusing to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Japan is actually on the side of the United States.

Abe reiterated Japan’s stance, citing a difficult national security environment, and a large gap between the two sides over nuclear disarmament.