Hiroshima marks 73rd anniversary
A bell tolled Monday in Hiroshima as Japan marked 73 years since the world’s first atomic bombing, with the city’s mayor warning that rising nationalism worldwide threatened peace.
Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui, standing at the park near ground zero for the annual ceremony, appealed for a world without nuclear weapons and sounded the alarm over increasing nationalism.
Without naming specific nations, he warned that “certain countries are explicitly expressing self-centred nationalism and modernising their nuclear arsenals.”
They were “rekindling tensions that had eased with the end of the Cold War”, he added.
He urged the abolition of nuclear weapons, in a year when President Donald Trump pledged to increase the US nuclear arsenal.
“If the human family forgets history or stops confronting it, we could again commit a terrible error. That is precisely why we must continue talking about Hiroshima,” Matsui said.
“Efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons must continue.”
His call however highlighted Japan’s contradictory relationship with nuclear weapons.
Japanese officials routinely argue that they oppose atomic weapons but the nation’s defence is dependent on the US nuclear umbrella.