Hiroshima celebrates anniversary of atomic bombing amid fears of a new nuclear arms race IG News

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Bells rang in Hiroshima on Saturday as the city marked the 77th anniversary of the world’s first nuclear bombing, with officials – including the UN Secretary General – warning of a new arms race following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February; Soon after the start of the invasion, Russian President Vladimir Putin explicitly raised the possibility of a nuclear attack. The conflict has also raised concerns about the security of Ukraine’s nuclear plants.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres joins the thousands packed at Hiroshima’s Peace Park in the city center to mark the anniversary of the deaths of 140,000 people in 1945. This is only the second time that the UN Secretary-General has participated in the annual ceremony.

Guterres said, “Nuclear weapons are rubbish. They do not guarantee security – only death and destruction.”

“Three quarters of a century later, we must ask what we have learned from the mushroom cloud that rose over this city in 1945.”

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Russian ambassador was not invited to the memory

Guterres brushed aside direct mention of Russia, which calls its invasion of Ukraine a “special military operation”.

Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui, whose city did not invite the Russian ambassador to the ceremony this year, was more outspoken and critical of Moscow’s military actions in Ukraine.

Matsui said, “In invading Ukraine, Russian leaders, elected to protect the lives and property of their people, are using them as a means of war, stealing the lives and livelihoods of civilians in a different country.” are doing.”

“Around the world, the notion that peace depends on nuclear deterrence is gaining momentum,” the mayor said.

“These errors betray the determination of humanity born out of our experiences of war to achieve a peaceful world free from nuclear weapons. To accept the status quo and abandon the ideal of peace maintained without military force. threat to its existence.”

Russia’s ambassador to Japan, Mikhail Galujin, laid flowers on a memorial stone in the park on Thursday and told reporters that his country would never use nuclear weapons.

Japanese PM calls for nuclear disarmament

At 8:15 a.m. on August 6, 1945, US B-29 warplane Enola Gay dropped a bomb called “Little Boy” and wiped out the city with an estimated population of 350,000. Thousands more died later from injuries and radiation-related illnesses.

On Saturday, as the sobs blew in the heavy heat, the peace bell sounded and the crowd, including Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who is from Hiroshima, observed a moment of silence just in time for the bombings.

A man and a woman rotate a piece of bamboo to ring a large bell.
A large bell is rung to mark a moment of silence and prayer for the victims during the annual memorial ceremony at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. (Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images)

Prime Minister Kishida, who has chosen Hiroshima as the site of next year’s Seven Summits, called on the world to give up nuclear weapons.

Earlier this week, he became the first Japanese leader to attend a review conference of the parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).

“We will continue to move towards the ideal of nuclear disarmament in the face of the current tight security environment,” he said.

The atomic bombing of Nagasaki by the US military on August 9, following the Hiroshima devastation, immediately killed more than 75,000 people. Japan surrendered six days later, ending World War II.

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A nuclear war cannot and should never be fought,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned last Wednesday. It’s a possibility many in Canada haven’t had to consider since the end of the Cold War, but experts say the risk hasn’t disappeared. A few weeks ago, Front Burner did an episode about a no-fly zone, and how some experts argue that the US shouldn’t implement one in Ukraine because it could lead to an escalation that could lead to an escalation between Russia and the United States. can raise two nuclear powers. , in direct conflict. Today, guest host Jason D’Souza talks with nuclear weapons expert Tom Colina about the state of these major powers’ nuclear arsenals and the destruction they cause. Kolina, policy director at the Plowshares Fund, says nuclear weapons are enabling Russia to “take Ukraine hostage and keep other countries out.”

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