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Monday, July 22, 2024
HomeNewsWorldHiroshima Commemorates 70th Anniversary of Atomic Bomb

Hiroshima Commemorates 70th Anniversary of Atomic Bomb

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Hiroshima Remembers the Past, Concerned for the Future

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The Japanese city of Hiroshima is commemorating the 70th anniversary of the atomic bomb being dropped in World War II by a U.S. aircraft on August 6, 1945. A ceremony, which was attended by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, was held at Hiroshima’s memorial park.

At least 70,000 people died when a U.S. B-29 bomber dropped a uranium bomb on the Japanese city. In total, at least 140,000 died as a direct and indirect result of the attack. Three days after Hiroshima, the U.S. dropped another atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki, which killed 40,000 instantly and brought an end to World War II. The decision by then-U.S. President Harry S. Truman has been heavily criticized by left-wing academia, but it ultimately prevented massive U.S. casualties that would’ve followed an invasion of the formerly fascist Japanese nation.

The anniversary comes as the country debates the expansion of its military presence abroad. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his government are pushing new legislation that could send Japanese soldiers into conflict for the first time since World War Two. In response, proponents of Japan’s pacifist constitution have organized protests around the country.

Prime Minister Abe, who in a speech at the ceremony called for abolishing nuclear weapons, answered his critics by arguing that the legislation was essential to ensure Japan’s safety. Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui agreed with Abe on nuclear weapons, but also urged the creation of security systems that do not rely on military might.

“Working with patience and perseverance to achieve these systems will be vital, and will require that we promote throughout the world the path to true peace revealed by the pacifism of the Japanese constitution,” he said in a speech.

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