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    » 08/09/2012, 00.00

    JAPAN

    Nagasaki mayor calls for a nuclear-free world



    Tomihisa Taue wants "concrete steps" towards a Nuclear Weapons Convention." Nagasaki's mayor also wants nuclear power to be replaced by alternative sources. He said his city will "continue to support the people of Fukushima" victimised by the March 2011 accident.

    Nagasaki (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Nagasaki called on world leaders today to conclude a treaty banning nuclear weapons at a ceremony marking the 67th anniversary of 'Fat Man,' the codename for the atomic bomb that destroyed the city (the bomb that devastated Hiroshima on 6 August was codenamed 'Little Boy'). "The international community must act now by taking the first concrete steps toward concluding the Nuclear Weapons Convention," Mayor Tomihisa Taue said. He also expressed his city's solidarity with the victims of last year's Fukushima nuclear disaster, survivors as well as relatives now facing hardships.

    In his address, Mayor Taue also called on the central government to address the "serious challenge" presented by North Korea's nuclear arms threat. In a speech, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda declared that Japan has a "responsibility" to encourage countries and the international community to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.

    For the first time, US Ambassador John Roos attended the ceremony along with representatives from about 40 countries. Roos did attend Hiroshima's annual peace ceremony before, but never Nagasaki's. Both mark the atomic bombs dropped by the United States that ended the Second World War in the summer 1945.

    In Nagasaki, up to 80,000 people were incinerated in the blast or died from radiation-related illnesses by the end of 1945. The number of officially recognised Nagasaki hibakusha, the surviving victims of the atomic bombings, stood at 39,324 as of March, with an average age of 77 and half years.

    In an explicit reference to the March 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Mayor Taue called for a society "free from the fear of radioactivity." He is the first Japanese mayor to call on Japan to move away from nuclear energy and promote instead new energy sources in place of nuclear power.

    Taue also called for action on the radioactive waste that has piled up, and pledged that Nagasaki would "continue to support the people of Fukushima".

     

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    See also

    06/08/2012 JAPAN
    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.

    28/06/2012 JAPAN
    Kashiwazaki, Tepco wants to reactivate the largest nuclear power plant in the world
    Japan is on its knees due to the closure of the nuclear power plants, effected during the popular wave of emotion after the disaster in Fukushima. Now the company, which has paid billions of yen in damages to the country, is trying to revive the sector. And the government has allocated one trillion to help them. A scientist in Singapore: "With the right controls, atomic energy is much safer than fossil fuels."

    06/08/2015 JAPAN
    70 Years after atomic bomb and end of war, Hiroshima calls for ban on nuclear weapons
    In front of about 40 thousand people, gathered in the Peace Memorial Park, the mayor and the Japanese Prime Minister call for the abolition of such "absolute evil and inhuman" weapons. 15 thousand warheads currently on the planet. Thousands of lanterns are lit along the Motoyasu River to symbolize the souls of those who died in 1945.

    20/10/2009 JAPAN
    Hiroshima and Nagasaki dream of Olympics 2020
    The two cities, victims of the atomic bomb, would like to host the Games to launch the message of a nuclear-free world by 2020. All in agreement, but political and economic problems may lead to the rejection of the idea.

    03/08/2009 JAPAN
    The atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a moral failure
    August 6 and 9 mark the anniversaries of the atomic bombs launched on the two Japanese cities. It marked the beginning of the era of nuclear terror. The testimonies of Jesuit Fr Arrupe, in Hiroshima at the time, and a Catholic doctor from Nagasaki. In 1945 political designs prevailed over the scientists and humanists who refused the use of atomic power. And now?



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