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NAGASAKI’S Mayor Tomihisa Taue condemned nuclear-armed states for “upgrading and miniaturising nuclear weapons for easier use” today at a commemoration marking 75 years since the atomic bombing of the Japanese city.
A US B-29 bomber dropped the 4.5-ton plutonium bomb dubbed Fat Man on Nagasaki on August 9 1945, three days after a similar plane dropped the uranium bomb Little Boy on Hiroshima. These remain the only occasions to date in which nuclear weapons have been deployed. The Nagasaki bombing killed an estimated 70,000 people.
Mr Taue addressed a gathering of bomb survivors and relatives in Nagasaki’s Peace Park, warning that “the threat of nuclear weapons being used is increasingly becoming real.”
“The true horror of nuclear weapons has not yet been adequately conveyed to the world at large,” he said, pointing to the danger posed by US President Donald Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty, which prompted Russia, as the only other party, to withdraw too.
And the mayor clashed with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over Japan’s refusal to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, saying: “There have been voices stating that it is too early for such a treaty. That is not so. Nuclear-arms reductions are far too late in coming.”
Mr Abe retorted that “the treaty is different from Japan’s position and approach.” Japan does not possess nuclear weapons but is a close ally of the United States, hosting 50,000 US troops.
Survivor of the nuclear attack Shigemi Fukabori said that there “was not much time left for us survivors” to educate people about the nature of nuclear war. Now 89, he was a 14-year-old mobilised to work in a shipyard when the bomb fell, incinerating his four siblings. He said he will never forget the pile of charred bodies or the pleas of dying people for help and water as he tried to reach his home that day.
“Nagasaki bears a responsibility as a witness of catastrophic results the nuclear weapon caused to humanity and the environment,” he told the gathering. “I hope the young generations inherit our baton of peace and keep running.
“I’m determined to keep telling my story, so that Nagasaki will be the last place on Earth to have suffered an atomic attack.”
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