Japan marks Hiroshima atomic bombing 70th anniversary

Yet 70 years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the gradualist approach has clearly failed.


With the devastated cities now rebuilt after fighting back from the destruction, the scale of what took place in August 1945 is hard to imagine. The Truman administration rejected proposals made by some scientists working on the bomb that its destructive capacity should be demonstrated to the Japanese regime by dropping it on an uninhabited area. Sadako Sasaki was two years old when the bomb dropped. In the years that followed, more died from leukaemia and other cancers as a result of exposure to intense radiation.

Hiroshi Harada still remembers how his leg sank into one of the bodies blocking a narrow street in the city as he fled the spreading fires after the bomb was dropped. Another bomb was dropped on the port city of Nagasaki three days later, killing an estimated 70,000 residents. In other words, the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of civilians ultimately helped save lives.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in his anniversary address, read out by UN Acting High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Kim Won-soo, that the Hiroshima tragedy should remind the world of the necessity of getting rid of nuclear weapons “once and for all”.

Tsuboi, then a college student, was about 1.2 kilometers from the hypocenter and was literally blown away by the blast and blinding heat.

“But it must be pointed out that the ceremony directs people’s attention only to the fact that Japan is a victim of atomic bombing, but turns a blind eye to the reason why”, the English-language editorial said. Upon meeting her, he said, “I’m so sorry”.

Further cracks emerged this week in the pay TV bundle as media companies and distributors indicated that more people are cutting the cord and ditching pricey channel packages. From the viewpoint of nuclear deterrence, it is not necessarily wrong for Japan to rely on the U.S. nuclear umbrella to avoid a third atomic bombing. “But I think it’s true the atomic bomb shortened the war”.

Any successful move by Japan to change its long held pacifist stance is likely to make its neighbors in the region nervous, particularly at a time when China is actively reclaiming disputed territory in the South China Sea, souring its relations with Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines.

The American use of the atomic weapons sought to terrorise not just the Japanese regime, but above all the Soviet Union, and ensure post-war US global dominance.

Occupied by American conquerors, Japan eventually transitioned into an era of pacifism, democracy, and economic prosperity.

It is a trend that many survivors and their denshosha would like to reverse, or at least slow.

With the average age of survivors now exceeding 80 for the first time this year, passing on their stories is considered an urgent task.

Perhaps the charred children’s school uniforms on display in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial don’t fit the image many Americans have of “the Great War”.

Just telling people about the tragic reality is not necessary appropriate.

“There are all kinds of records, but how many people actually seek them out?” he said. Despite this, there are many elements to the draft agreement that drew widespread support and so must not be lost, including the need for full accountability and transparency for the world’s nuclear arsenals. The battle for Okinawa cost 13,000 American lives and almost all 100,000 Japanese defenders.

We’ve seen the effects of war. None of us had to fight and die in the Pacific.

“And that’s where I stand today, right in the middle”, Daniel says.

The nuclear agreement between Iran, the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany, and the EU, comes at a historically propitious moment.


North Korea is also believed to be developing nuclear missiles that can hit the United States.

The Lessons of Hiroshima: We Still Need Nuclear Weapons