Hiroshima survivors, the “hibakusha” still fight for the abolition of nuclear weapons

Japan commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima disaster on August 6. The hibakusha, the survivors of the atomic bomb explosion of 1945, are pushing the Japanese government more than ever to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. However, the time that remains to them is now running out.

In the suffocating heat, 800 people, all dressed in black and white as a sign of mourning, gathered Thursday August 6 in the park of the Peace Memorial in Hiroshima (western Japan) to pay homage to the victims of the atomic bombing which took place seventy-five years ago to the day. This bomb, nicknamed Little Boy by American soldiers, killed some 140,000 people, while many survivors are still suffering from after-effects.

Covid-19 epidemic obliges, the 800 participants of this Thursday represent only a tenth of the visitors who take part in normal times in these ceremonies, but that does not change anything to the solemn atmosphere and the faces streaked with tears of the survivors who came lay a wreath in front of the cenotaph in the park.

“Our city has the responsibility to work so that the abolition of nuclear weapons and the advent of world peace come from the common will of democratic societies”, said Kazumi Matsui, mayor of Hiroshima, quoted by the Japanese daily Mainichi Shimbun. With regard to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, a text which entered into force just fifty years ago, and that on the prohibition of nuclear weapons, he insisted that political leaders “Should show more determination” so that “These legal frameworks operate in a

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Yuta Yagishita

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