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Japan commemorates 72nd anniversary of Nagasaki's atomic bombing

09 Août 2017

Nagasaki Mayor Taue Tomihisa called for an end to countries' reliance on nuclear weapons as a means to protect themselves, as the southwestern Japan city marked the 72nd anniversary of the USA atomic bombing on Wednesday.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, local residents and relatives of the victims attended the ceremony at the Nagasaki Peace Park to commemorate the anniversary of the atomic bombing.

"Having North Korea join the treaty will benefit Japan and South Korea in a security sense, while those two countries will have to commit to not stationing USA nuclear weapons on their soil, thus reassuring North Korea and encouraging it to disarm", he said.

The United States twice hit Japan with nuclear weapons at the end of World War II - in the city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, and in Nagasaki three days later.

Taue lambasted Tokyo over its stance on the treaty as "incomprehensible to those of us living in the cities that suffered atomic bombings".

Before his election past year, Trump had also suggested that Japan and South Korea could acquire nuclear weapons in the future, and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson refused to rule this out in a March interview with U.S. media, according to U.S. reports.

"Japan has shamed itself on the global stage ... unless we change our policy, we are in no position to try to persuade other countries to abolish nuclear weapons", she said. "A strong sense of anxiety is spreading across the globe that in the not too distant future these weapons could actually be used again".

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This year's ceremony was held only hours after US President Donald Trump said North Korea would be met with "fire and fury" if it continued making threats, and Pyongyang retaliated by saying it was "carefully examining" a pre-emptive strike against the US territory of Guam.

The United Nations stands ready to continue working with you to honor the victims of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, and to achieve a safer, better and more prosperous world for all.

Japan announced its surrender in World War II on August 15, 1945.

"Of course the hibakusha are angry, but we're getting old and those of us who can really speak out are getting fewer and fewer", Harada said. Their average age was 81.

Ikeda recalled the rumble of the plane as it flew over Nagasaki, as well as the flash of light and the shock wave that knocked him out cold.

Earlier that day, Ikeda, who was just a child at the time, was told to stay home with his brothers and sisters by his mother before she headed out to pick up food, but he didn't listen and went after his mother and pleaded to go along with her. Within days, however, his five siblings were dead.