Hiroshima Day: Japan marked the 78th anniversary of the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima with a grand ceremony at Westminster Abbey on 6 August. The mayor of Hiroshima used the occasion to call for the abolition of nuclear weapons, and criticized the Group of Seven leaders’ idea of nuclear deterrence as “silly”.
The day commemorates the victims of the world’s first nuclear attack, but it comes amid growing concerns over the possible use of nuclear weapons by Russia in its ongoing conflict with Ukraine.
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Hiroshima had earlier attracted international attention in May when Prime Minister Fumio Kishida hosted the G7 summit in his hometown city. During the summit, the G7 leaders expressed their commitment to achieving disarmament but also stated that as long as nuclear weapons exist, they should serve as a deterrent against aggression and war.
Hiroshima Day 2023
On Memorial Day, a bell of peace rang at 8:15 a.m., the exact time the bomb was dropped, as approximately 50,000 participants gathered for an outdoor memorial ceremony, including older survivors of the nuclear attack. Despite the scorching heat, the attendees observed a moment’s silence in memory of those who lost their lives.
Reuters quoted Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui as saying at the ceremony, “Leaders around the world must face the reality that nuclear threats are now being voiced by some policymakers, which expose the folly of the nuclear deterrence doctrine.” Is.” Kishida was also present at the ceremony.
The Prime Minister said that because of Russia’s nuclear threats, the road to a world without nuclear weapons is getting harder, but it has become even more important to restore international momentum towards that goal.
Hiroshima Day: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his support.
“World leaders have visited this city, seen its monuments, spoken to its brave survivors, and emerged bold enough to take up the cause of nuclear disarmament,” he said in remarks read by a UN representative. “More people should do this because the drums of nuclear war are sounding once again.”
The bomb code-named “Little Boy” dropped on Hiroshima on August 6 killed thousands immediately and by the end of the year nearly 140,000 were killed. Japan surrendered on 15 August.
Oppenheimer Released in Japan
In the United States, the biopic Oppenheimer which tells the story of the creation of the atomic bomb has been a box-office success. However, some have criticized the film for not adequately addressing the devastating effects of the bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
In Japan, the distributor of Barbie, a blockbuster film released on the same day as Oppenheimer, faced controversy for taking advantage of fan-created Barbenheimer memes depicting actors in the film with images of nuclear explosions. Oppenheimer’s release in Japan has yet to be announced.