Prayer for peace in Hiroshima, fears of new arms race on anniversary of atomic bombing

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TOKYO — Bells rang in Hiroshima on Saturday as the city marked the 77th anniversary of the world’s first atomic bombing, with officials including the United Nations secretary-general warning of a new arms race following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. gave

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Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, and soon after, Russian President Vladimir Putin obliquely raised the possibility of a nuclear attack. The dispute has also raised concerns about the safety of Ukraine’s nuclear plants.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres joined thousands of people in downtown Peace Park to mark the anniversary of the bombing that killed 140,000 people before the end of 1945. .

“Nuclear weapons are nonsense. They guarantee no security – only death and destruction,” Guterres said.

“Three-quarters of a century later, we must ask what we learned from the mushroom cloud that spread over this city in 1945.”

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Guterres avoided directly mentioning Russia, which it calls its invasion of Ukraine a “special military operation.”

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Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui, whose city did not invite the Russian ambassador to the event this year, has come under fire for Moscow’s military actions in Ukraine.

“By attacking Ukraine, the Russian leader, elected to protect the lives and property of his own people, is using them as instruments of war, and the lives of citizens in a different country,” Matsui said. And stealing the livelihood.”

“Across the world, the notion that peace depends on nuclear deterrence gains momentum,” Matsui added.

“These errors betray humanity’s determination, born of our war experiences, to achieve a peaceful world free of nuclear weapons. Acceptance of the status quo and abandonment of the ideal of peace established without military force is essential to the survival of the human race.” There is a risk.

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At 8:15 a.m. on August 6, 1945, the American B-29 warplane Enola Gay dropped a bomb known as “Little Boy” and obliterated the city of 350,000. Thousands more died later from injuries and radiation-related illnesses.

On Saturday, as cicadas rustled in the hot summer air, peace bells rang out and the crowd, including Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who is from Hiroshima, observed a moment of silence as the bomb went off. .

“Earlier this year, the five nuclear-weapon states issued a joint statement: ‘Nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,'” Matsui added.

Why don’t they try to fulfill their promises? Why do some suggest the use of nuclear weapons?

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On Thursday, Mikhail Galozin, Russia’s ambassador to Japan, laid flowers at a memorial stone in the park and told reporters that his nation would never use nuclear weapons.

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Kishida, who has chosen Hiroshima for next year’s Group of Seven summit, called on the world to give up nuclear weapons.

Earlier this week, he became the first Japanese leader to participate in the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

He said that despite the current tough security environment, we will continue to move towards the ideal of nuclear disarmament.

After the destruction of Hiroshima, more than 75,000 people were killed in the atomic bomb attack on Nagasaki by the US military on August 9. Japan surrendered six days later, ending World War II.

In Hiroshima, Kishida also told Guterres that he strongly condemned China’s recent ballistic missile launches as “a serious issue concerning the security of Japan and the safety of the Japanese people,” the Foreign Ministry said Saturday. According to a news release issued on

Kishida repeated phrases he used a day earlier during a meeting with US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose visit to Taiwan this week prompted an angry China to conduct unprecedented live-fire drills that included five missiles being fired at Japan. fell in the special economic zone of

Kishida said he would work closely with Guterres in the context of China’s move, which adversely affects the peace and stability of the international community. (Reporting by Elaine Lies; Additional reporting by Kantaro Komiya; Editing by Sri Navaratnam and Kim Kugel)

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