Hiroshima Bombing – A Look-back 71 Years After

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Hiroshima, Japan observes the 71st anniversary of the bombing which shook their country and made pages in History books.

August 6, a day as usual as any other dates on the calendar in other parts of the world but in Japan, this is the day that leaders and citizens gather to a spot in Hiroshima City where the gigantic bombing took place 71 years ago and celebrate, if nor mourn, on it memory.

The Hiroshima City, Japan bombing site.
The Hiroshima City, Japan bombing site.

At a memorial ceremony, Mayor Kazumi Matsui called on world leader to do more to abolish nuclear weapons and to do as what U.S. President Barack Obama’s did in his historic visit to the city in May with trips of their own.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe echoed Matsui’s call and also urged young people to visit to observe the harrowing reality of the atomic bombing. Abe also reiterated Japan’s role in combating nuclear proliferation as the only country to have been attacked with nuclear weapons.

In the Peace Declaration read at the city’s annual memorial ceremony, Matsui urged the leaders of all nations to visit Hiroshima, which was devastated by an atomic bomb on Aug. 6, 1945, and Nagasaki, which was obliterated by another atomic strike three days later by the United States, in order to “etch the reality of the atomic bombings in each (leader’s) heart.”

In May, Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, and Matsui quoted part of the speech Obama delivered at the same venue in which he said “those nations like my own that hold nuclear stockpiles, we must have the courage to escape the logic of fear, and pursue a world without them.”

In May, Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, and Matsui quoted part of the speech Obama delivered at the same venue in which he said “those nations like my own that hold nuclear stockpiles, we must have the courage to escape the logic of fear, and pursue a world without them.”

Matsui said Obama’s words show that the president was touched by “the spirit of Hiroshima” and its refusal to accept nuclear weapons. Matsui then called on the world to “unify and manifest our passion in action” to proceed toward a world free of nuclear weapons.

The declaration also touched upon the foreign victims of the atomic bombing, including those from the Korean Peninsula, which was under Japanese colonial rule at the time, as well as from China, Southeast Asia and U.S. soldiers who were prisoners of war.

As what the books say, the United States, with the consent of the United Kingdom as laid down in the Quebec Agreement, dropped nuclear weapons on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, during the final stage of World War II. The two bombings, which killed at least 129,000 people, remain the only use of nuclear weapons for warfare in history.

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