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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Thursday, October 18, 2018

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Hiroshima Mayor urges the world to learn from history on 71st anniversary of Hiroshima bombings

71st anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings

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TOKYO, Japan - As Japan marked the 71st anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, Kazumi Matsui, the Mayor of Hiroshima, urged world leaders to visit the bombing site in order to “etch the reality in their hearts.”> Big News Network

Matsui said leaders must follow Obama’s example in making a visit to the area.

Addressing the gathered crowds, he said, “The President’s words showed he was touched by the spirit of Hiroshima, which refuses to accept the ‘absolute evil.”

Over 50,000 people were assembled at the event organised in memory of the thousands who lost their lives in the U.S. bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August, 1945 respectively.

On the occasion, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, urged the world to learn lessons from the bombings. Abe pointed out that Japan had a greater role in pushing for nuclear disarmament as it was the only country to ever have experienced the aftermath of a nuclear attack. He also pledged his commitment towards a world free of nuclear arms.

A peace bell was rung at 8:15 am (local time) marking the time the warplanes had dropped the bombs and a moment of silence was observed for the victims.

The peace declaration was also read out during the memorial ceremony attended by survivors, citizens and dignitaries.

U.S. President Obama had visited Hiroshima in May and urged world leaders to have the “courage” to pursue a world without nuclear weapons.

He was the first U.S. President to visit Japan while serving his term. During his visit, he had refused to apologise for the role of U.S. in the bombings, denying making any comment on the decision taken by the former U.S. President Harry Truman.

The U.S. had bombed the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in an effort to end World War II quickly.

American B-29 bomber Enola Gay had dropped the bombs named “Little Boy” unleashing terror and destruction on the cities.

The bombs caused the city to burn at 4,000 degree celsius, killing 140,000 citizens and razing it to the ground.

Devastated by nuclear bombings, Japan soon surrendered on August 15.

Expressing condolences to Japan, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that though sympathy must be given to innocent lives that perished, the perpetrators can never shirk from their responsibility. He reminded Japan that it also had a history of oppressing other countries before and during WWII.

“Only through deep and sincere reflection upon its aggression and all sorts of crimes committed upon neighbouring countries in Asia, can Japan truly recover from the painful memory of war,” Zhu Feng wrote in the Xinhua news agency.

Addressing the issue of nuclear arms, Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump had recently said that he was in favour of allowing Japan and South Korea to build their own nuclear weapons as a defence against possible attacks by North Korea and China. Trump feels the countries will be better off having own resources to defend themselves than being dependent on the U.S.

Japan’s New Defence Minister, Tomomi Inada, has however said that she did not believe Japan should consider possessing nuclear weapons.

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