Written by Caroline Phillips, Administrator
Seventy years ago the United States forced the world into the nuclear age by dropping the world’s first atom bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, August 6, 1945. A second atomic bomb was dropped three days later on the city of Nagasaki, Japan, August 9, 1945. The bombing of these two residential cities resulted in the immediate death of at least 129,000 people.
On August 6, 2015, thousands of people gathered in Hiroshima to commemorate the loss of lives from the world’s first atomic bombs and listen to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui speak about nonproliferation. Mayor Kazumi Matsui made an emphatic call for a world without nuclear weapons in a direct appeal to President Obama and other worldwide policy makers,
“Please come to the A-bombed cities, hear the survivors with your own ears, and encounter the reality of the atomic bombings. You will be impelled to start discussing a legal framework, including a nuclear weapons convention.”
Mayor Matsui did not hesitate to point out Prime Minister Abe’s ongoing campaign to reinterpret Japan’s postwar “pacifist” constitution in order to allow Japanese troops to fight alongside allies overseas as an uneasy political backdrop to the ceremony.
Prime Minister Abe’s push to restart nuclear reactors in the wake of the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi, and the subsequent hasty cleanup of the heavily radioactively contaminated villages surrounding the decimated Fukushima Daiichi site is an ongoing human tragedy of epic proportions. It is also very concerning due to Japan’s atomic history. Currently thousands of Japanese citizens are living in temporary housing, forced out of their cities and homes due to this ongoing nuclear disaster with 300 tons of radioactive water contaminating the Pacific Ocean every day. This ongoing human tragedy and nuclear power debacle makes it imperative that we reexamine humanity’s relationship to nuclear power and its role in this nuclear age that has seen 5 major nuclear reactor meltdowns during 35-years.
We invite you to take a look at these related sites listed below for a deeper understanding of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.