Japan Marks 75 Years Since First Atomic Bomb

Japanese officials offer prayers and flowers to mark the 75th anniversary of the world’s first atomic bomb attack in Hiroshima.

The dwindling witnesses to the world’s first atomic bombing marked the anniversary with the mayor and others noting the Japanese government’s refusal to sign a nuclear weapons ban treaty, highlighting its hypocrisy.

Survivors, their relatives and other participants marked the 8:15 a.m. blast anniversary with a minute of silence.

The ceremony at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park was scaled down, with the number of attendants reduced to fewer than 1,000, or one-tenth of past years, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui urged world leaders to more seriously commit to nuclear disarmament, pointing out Japan’s failures.

His speech highlights what survivors feel is the hypocrisy of Japan’s government, which hosts 50,000 American troops and is protected by the U.S. nuclear umbrella.

Tokyo has not signed the nuclear weapons ban treaty adopted in 2017, despite its non-nuclear pledge, a failure to act that atomic bombing survivors and pacifist groups call insincere.

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe said during his speech that the country will ”firmly maintain the “Three Non-Nuclear Principles”.

These are the principles of not possessing, not producing and not permitting entry of nuclear weapons into Japan.

The U.S. dropped its first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, destroying the city and killing 140,000 people, mostly civilians and including many children.

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Japan is an island country in East Asia located in the northwest Pacific Ocean. Part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, Japan comprises an archipelago of 6,852 islands covering 377,975 square kilometers (145,937 sq mi); the country’s five main islands, from north to south, are Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, and Okinawa. Tokyo is Japan’s capital and largest city.

Japan is divided into 47 administrative prefectures and eight traditional regions. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world, with more than 37.4 million residents.

Japan is a great power and a member of numerous international organizations, including the United Nations (since 1956), the OECD, and the G7. Japan is a leader in the automotive and electronics industries.

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