08/06/2012, 00.00
JAPAN
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Hiroshima marks 67 years since atomic bomb with one eye on Fukushima

More than 50 thousand participants observe a moment of silence in the Memorial Peace Park. The Mayor of Hiroshima calls for an end to the use of nuclear energy also for civilian purposes. Prime Minister Noda proposes a "mixed energy". Hiroshima survivors and Fukushima displaced march together. UN Representative: Banning nuclear weapons is morally right and necessary in practice to protect humanity. Present at the ceremony the grandson of President Truman, who ordered nuclear attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Hiroshima (AsiaNews / Agencies) - At least 50 thousand people attended this morning's ceremony to commemorate the 67th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. The demand for an end to nuclear weapons, this year was joined by an appeal to create a nuclear free society, in the aftermath of the disaster in Fukushima.

At 8:15 on August 6, 1945, the U.S. aircraft Enola Gay dropped the atomic bomb on the city causing 140 thousand deaths. At the same time, today, at the Memorial Peace Park (the site of the bomb crater), a bell intoned the hour while the crowd observed in complete silence.

The mayor of the city, Kazumi Matsui, pleaded the case for a world free from nuclear weapons, but added that after Fukushima the time had also come to create a mix of energy sources for Japan that is safe and secure.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who attended the ceremony, said that Hiroshima should not be forgotten and has promised the country a "mixed energy", which "is not based on nuclear energy."

After the Fukushima disaster caused by the earthquake and tsunami of 11 March 2011, Japan had closed all 50 nuclear power plants, but needing energy, has reopened two.

Many survivors of Hiroshima - called "hibakushi" - are opposed to military and civil use of nuclear energy, stressing that there were deaths directly caused by the bomb, but also those who died later from radiation. Toshiyuki Mimaki, a survivor of 70 years, said: "We want to work together with the people of Fukushima and join our voices so that there are no more victims from nuclear energy."

In conjunction with the ceremony at Memorial Peace Park, there was also a demonstration of about 700 people, including survivors of Hiroshima and displaced persons from Fukushima.

The official ceremony was also attended by representatives from over 70 countries. For the first time these included a grandson of U.S. President Henry Truman, who decided to launch the bomb. The Allies have always justified the violence by saying that the atomic bomb on Hiroshima (and the second a few days later, on August 9, on Nagasaki) prompted Japan to surrender, reducing the number of possible victims in case the war continued. Clifton Truman Daniel, grandson of the late president, said it was important to hear the voices of survivors and understand all the consequences of decisions made by his grandfather.

At present in Japan there are over 200 thousand survivors of Hiroshima, with an average age of 78. The mayor pointed out the economic difficulties that they have to get medical care. But he also promised that the city of Hiroshima wants to help them and record their experiences lest we forget what has happened.

The ceremony was also attended by Angela Kane, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, who read a message from Ban Ki-moon. "On this day, in this city, let me proclaim again: there must never be another nuclear attack-never ... Such weapons have no legitimate place in our world. Their elimination is both morally right and a practical necessity in protecting humanity. "

 

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