Bells rang in Hiroshima, Japan, as the city marked the 77th anniversary of the world’s first atomic bombing.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres joined thousands of people gathered at the Peace Park in the city center to mark the anniversary of the explosion that killed 140,000 people before the end of 1945. annual ceremony.
“Nuclear weapons are nonsense. It does not guarantee any security, only death and destruction,” Guterres said.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres (center) at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony on August 6, 2022 in Hiroshima, Japan. Credits: Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images
“Three-quarters of a century later, we must wonder what we learned from the mushroom cloud that hung over this city in 1945.”
Mr. Guterres avoided directly mentioning Russia, which calls its invasion of Ukraine a “special military operation.”
At 8:15 am on August 6, 1945, an American military aircraft B-29 Enola Gay dropped a bomb, nicknamed Little Boy, and wiped out a city of about 350,000 people. Thousands more died later from radiation-related injuries and illnesses.
On Saturday, as cicadas screeched in the heavy summer air, the Peace Bell sounded and the crowd, including Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Hiroshima, observed a moment of silence just as the bomb went off.
On Thursday, Russian Ambassador to Japan Mikhail Galuzin laid flowers at a memorial stone in a park and told reporters that his country would never use nuclear weapons.
Mr. Kishida, who chose Hiroshima as the venue for next year’s G-7 summit, called on the world to give up nuclear weapons.
Earlier this week, he became the first Japanese leader to attend the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
“We will continue to move towards the ideal of nuclear disarmament, even given the current difficult security environment,” he said.
The disaster at Hiroshima was followed by the atomic bombing of Nagasaki by the US military on August 9, which killed more than 75,000 people instantly.
Japan surrendered six days later, ending World War II.