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