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HOME  > Past issues  > 2010 August 4 - 10  > 65th anniversary of A-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
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2010 August 4 - 10 [ANTI-N-ARMS]

65th anniversary of A-bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

August 6, 2010
It has been 65 years since the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6 and another on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. The atomic bombs instantly incinerated the two cities, taking the lives of more than 200,000 people. Many Hibakusha (A-bomb victims) are suffering from the aftereffects to this day. There is still a pressing need to make the real horrors associated with the atomic bombing known throughout the world and to support the Hibakusha.

Calls for nuclear weapons abolition, the keen desire of all Hibakusha, have increased since the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference last May. In response to their wishes, A-bombed Japan has the duty to strive to eliminate nuclear weapons.

Begin negotiations on nuclear elimination treaty

The NPT Review Conference in May resolved “to achieve the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons,” and confirmed that nuclear weapons countries should implement measures for the complete elimination of their nuclear arsenals, despite some resistance from nuclear weapons countries. The international climate in regard to nuclear weapons abolition is undergoing a major change.

Clearly the movements for nuclear weapons elimination, led by the Hibakusha, are driving the nuclear weapons countries into a corner. The International Meeting of the 2010 World Conference against A & H Bombs, held a few days before the 65th anniversaries, had the attendance of delegates of the United Nations, governments, and anti-nuclear peace movements from 27 countries. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in his message to the World Conference said, “Your efforts have contributed to a wave of support for global nuclear disarmament.”

The declaration adopted by the International Meeting of the World Conference states, “Given that ‘a world without nuclear weapons’ is now an established goal of international politics, what is needed next are concrete actions to attain the objective.” The World Conference in its own right demands that the nuclear weapons countries and all governments including that of Japan start negotiations on a nuclear elimination treaty to ban all nuclear weapons.

It is the first time for the U.N. secretary general to visit the A-bombed cities and to attend the memorial ceremony of Hiroshima City. U.S. ambassador to Japan John Victor Roos also attended the Hiroshima ceremony. Certainly, the peace memorial ceremony in the 65th year of the A-bombing would send out a new message about nuclear elimination.

Sixty-five years have passed, but many Hibakusha are suffering from cancer and other diseases caused by exposure to radioactivity in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Their lives are always under the shadow of death. The tragedy must not be allowed to be repeated.

The series of court struggles calling for Hibakusha’s illnesses to be recognized as being caused by A-bomb radiation led the Japanese government last year to exchange a written confirmation with the Japan Confederation of A-and H-bomb Sufferers Organizations (Hidankyo) that a settlement should be pursued through regular consultations to settle the suits. However, the government has so far only recognized a few people as A-bomb disease patients, dismissing a large number of applications. Given the aging of Hibakusha, the government must rethink this position of indifference. In the 65th year of the A-bombings, the government should sincerely put into practice the written confirmation and do all it can to provide full relief to Hibakusha.

Drop nuclear deterrence doctrine

The government, led by the Democratic Party of Japan, is to blame for its reluctance in relieving Hibakusha and its lack of concrete diplomatic efforts to make the best of the present opportunity for nuclear weapons elimination. The government refuses to honor the request that the Japan-U.S. secret agreement allowing the U.S. forces to bring nuclear weapons into Japan be abolished. This is because the basic position of the government is to maintain the U.S. “nuclear deterrence.”

The role of A-bombed Japan is increasing in importance. A Japan without nuclear weapons, in name and reality, will surely accelerate the push for nuclear elimination.
-Akahata, August 6, 2010
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