Hiroshima (AsiaNews) - Nuclear weapons "are the extreme of inhumanity and absolute evil. They all should be abolished, so that what happened here 70 years ago. Never happens again”. These were the words this morning of the mayor of Hiroshima, Kazumi Matsui, at the annual commemoration of the victims of the atomic bombings by the United States. This year the ceremonies today in Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 9, are of a more solemn atmosphere as they fall in the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.
Approximately 40 thousand people attended the ceremony at the Peace Memorial Park. Like every year, the "Peace Bell" rang at 8:15 [the hour the bomb fell ed] and throughout the city three minutes of silence was observed. The mayor then joined in the memorial ceremony for the victims, with the names of the survivors who have died in the last year, the "hibakusha". Today there are about 190 thousand alive, who are held in the highest of respect across the country.
Also present were ambassadors and representatives from about 100 nations around the world who signed the "Declaration of Peace" togther with the mayor and prime minister. In the text, Matsui says that atomic bombs "not only took away lives, but the sense of a community and culture." According to the politician, the approximately 15 thousand nuclear warheads still in existence "are a danger and a threat. Every citizen of the world could become a hibakusha".
This call was echoed by the premier Shinzo Abe, who in his speech called for nuclear disarmament worldwide: "The horrible suffering caused by these weapons can not be told honestly, because they are unspeakable. Today Hiroshima is reborn and has become a city of culture and prosperity. But its wounds are still open”.
At the end of the ceremony, citizens released tens of thousands of paper lanterns along the Motoyasu River: These symbolize the souls of those who died during the bombing.
About 140 thousand people died in the course of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima, followed on August 9 by the bombing of Nagasaki. According to the Allies these two devastating attacks hastened the end of World War II, given that Japan had been the only country of the Axis still fighting. On 2 September 1945, Tokyo signed its unconditional surrender.