Nuclear weapons present a “tangible and current crisis” after the invasion of Ukraine, the mayor of Nagasaki warned on Tuesday, as he remembered the 77th anniversary of the atomic bomb attack that destroyed the Japanese city.
“The use of nuclear weapons is not an unfounded fear, but a tangible present crisis,” said Mayor Tomihisa Taue, warning that they can be used for a bad decision, failure or terrorist attacks.
On August 9, 1945, Nagasaki became an inferno that left 74,000 dead when it received the impact of an atomic bomb three days after the attack on Hiroshima.
The two American attacks led to the end of World War II. To this day, Japan is the only country that has been attacked by nuclear weapons.
But Taue warned on Tuesday that the country may not be the last.
“In January of this year, the leaders of the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France and China released a joint declaration stating that ‘a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,'” he recalled.
“But a month later Russia invaded Ukraine. The use of nuclear weapons was threatened, which sent chills across the world,” he added.
Residents of Nagasaki pay tribute to the victims of the atomic bomb dropped on the city exactly 77 years ago, on August 9, 2022. — Photo: Kyodo News via AP
Survivors and foreign officials joined hundreds of people for a silent prayer at 11:02 am (23:02 GMT), the time the bomb was dropped on the port city.
Bells rang and doves were released during the ceremony at Nagasaki Peace Park, where purified water was offered in a ritual honoring victims who died from burns and other injuries.
Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida attends a ceremony marking the 77th anniversary of the bombing of the city of Nagasaki, Japan, Aug. 9, 2022. — Photo: Kyodo News via AP
Instead of waging wars, humanity should organize “a culture of peace that promotes trust, respect for others and seeks solutions through dialogue,” Taue said.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also warned of the danger of nuclear disaster as he recalled on Saturday the anniversary of the attack on Hiroshima, which left nearly 140,000 dead.
He warned that “humanity is playing with a loaded pistol” in the face of the proliferation of crises with the potential to provoke a nuclear disaster.
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