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Hiroshima’s mayor urges that Japan join the UN nuclear weapons ban: PM Abe toes the USA line on keeping nuclear weapons

Hiroshima anniversary highlights contrasting nuclear views, TODAY,   AUGUST 7, 2017, TOKYO — Japan yesterday marked 72 years since the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, with the nation’s traditional contradictions over atomic weapons again coming into focus.

The anniversary came after Japan sided last month with nuclear powers Britain, France and the United States to dismiss a United Nations treaty banning atomic weapons, which was rejected by critics for ignoring the reality of security threats such as North Korea. Japan is the only country to have suffered atomic attacks, in 1945.

 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, speaking at the annual ceremony at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park near Ground Zero, said Japan hoped to push for a world without nuclear weapons in a way that all countries can agree upon……..

This hell is not a thing of the past,” said Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui in his peace declaration at yesterday’s ceremony.

“As long as nuclear weapons exist and policymakers threaten their use, their horror could leap into our present at any moment. You could find yourself suffering their cruelty.

“Today, a single bomb can cause even greater damage than the bombs dropped 72 years ago.

“Humankind must never commit such an act,’’ he added, urging nuclear states, as well as Japan, to join the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty adopted in July.

Japanese officials have criticised the treaty as deepening a divide between countries with and without nuclear arms.None of the nine countries that possess nuclear weapons took part in the negotiations or voted on the treaty. Japanese officials routinely argue that they abhor nuclear weapons, but the nation’s defence is firmly set under the US nuclear umbrella.

In his message to Hiroshima, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the presence of some 15,000 nuclear weapons, along with “dangerous rhetoric regarding their use”, has exacerbated the threat they pose……

Many in Japan feel the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki amounted to war crimes and atrocities because they targeted civilians, and also because of the unprecedented destructive nature of the weapons…….http://www.todayonline.com/world/asia/hiroshima-anniversary-highlights-contrasting-nuclear-views

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August 7, 2017 - Posted by | Japan, weapons and war

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