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Hiroshima marks 77th anniversary of US atomic bombing as Guterres warns of growing nuclear threat

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

The Japanese city of Hiroshima has marked the 77th anniversary of the US atomic bombing during the World War 2.

The ceremony began with a silent prayer at 8:15 am on Saturday, right at the time when the bomb was dropped.

Hibakusha, young peace activists, Japan’s Prime Minister, local authorities, and UN chief António Guterres all attended the ceremony.

"Humanity is playing with a loaded gun," said Guterres, who became the first UN chief to attend since his predecessor Ban Ki Moon in 2010.

Guterres warned of the growing threats in the Middle East, the crisis in Ukraine and the Korean peninsula while describing the horrors endured by the Japanese city.

"Tens of thousands of people were killed in this city in the blink of an eye. Women, children and men were incinerated in a hellish fire." said the UN chief, adding, “The world must never forget what happened here. The memory of those who died, and the legacy of those who survived  will never be extinguished.”

Survivors were "cursed with a radioactive legacy" of cancer and other health problems, he said, noting, “Three-quarters of a century later, we must ask what we’ve learned from the mushroom cloud that swelled above this city in 1945.”

The mayor of Hiroshima, Kazumi Matsui urged nuclear powers of the world to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki to personally witness the consequences of nuclear weapons.

"I want them to understand that the only sure way to protect the lives and property of their people is to eliminate nuclear weapons," he said.

The ceremony also drew representatives from 99 countries, but Russian and Belarus ambassadors were not invited because of their support for the war in Ukraine. The Russian ambassador, however, visited the memorial site to lay flowers two days ago.

The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings that marked the end of the World War 2 after the surrender of Japan, killed approximately 220,000 people when the United States dropped the Little Boy and Fat Man at the respective cities, making US the only country to use weapons of mass destruction during a war. At the present time around 13,000 weapons of mass destruction are possessed by countries all over the world.

Till date the US hasn’t apologized for the atrocious crime it had committed 77 years ago, but this one is only one of the many atrocities that they have not apologized for.

When in 2016 Barack Obama visited Japan, he became the first sitting US president to tour the site of the world’s first nuclear bombed city. In an interview with Japanese national broadcaster NHK he had stated that he’s not going to apologize for the attack, even though he stated about Hiroshima to be the first city to suffer atomic bombing.

“It’s important to recognize that in the midst of war, leaders make all kinds of decisions, it’s a job of historians to ask questions and examine them,” Obama said.

Being one of the largest countries in the world to possess weapons of mass destruction, the US has around 1,389 active weapons of mass destruction and a total of 3,708 military stockpiles.

Recently President Joe Biden Proposed a whopping $773 billion budget which is inclining year by year for nuclear arms R&D, on an average every year it spends approximately $98 billion on nuclear weapons. This makes US the country to spend the most on nuclear weapons and investing in violence.

Today majority Americans believe that the Japan bombings had become necessary means to end the war, whereas the Japanese call it “unjustified.”


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