The mayor of Hiroshima has called for nuclear disarmament in the face of global concerns that Russia might use nuclear weapons in its war of aggression in Ukraine.
At a commemoration ceremony to mark the 77th anniversary of the US dropping a nuclear bomb on the Japanese city on Saturday, Mayor Kazumi Matsui warned that the world's reliance on nuclear deterrence was growing in importance. "We must immediately render all nuclear buttons meaningless," he said at a commemoration ceremony. For the first time in twelve years, a UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, took part. Russia and its ally Belarus were not invited to the central commemoration ceremony in Hiroshima.
At 8:15 a.m. (local time), the time when the US bomber Enola Gay dropped the first atomic bomb called "Little Boy" on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, the people of Hiroshima observed a minute's silence. Russia had recently confirmed that it did not want to start a nuclear war. "We assume that there can be no winners in a nuclear war and that it must never be started," President Vladimir Putin wrote in a welcoming address to the NPT conference in New York.
Tens of thousands of Hiroshima residents died immediately when the American atomic bomb was dropped, and an estimated 140,000 people died by the end of 1945. Three days after Hiroshima, the US dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki. Shortly thereafter, the Japanese Empire capitulated. Today, Hiroshima is a global symbol of war - and of peace.