Japan remembers Nagasaki atomic bomb, 70 years on

Japan remembers Nagasaki atomic bomb, 70 years on

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An emotional memorial service has been held in the Japanese city of Nagasaki where US forces dropped an atomic bomb exactly 70 years ago.
Speeches at the ceremony criticised the attending Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for his plans to loosen the restrictions on what Japan’s military can do.
At least 70,000 people died in the attack, which came three days after another bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.Nagasaki was only chosen after a cloud obscured the original target, Kokura.
A solemn ceremony in front of guests from 75 countries, including US ambassador Caroline Kennedy, began on Sunday with a declaration read out by children.
A minute’s silence and bells marked the time of the explosion in 1945 at 11:02 (02:02 GMT).
Nagasaki mayor Tomihisa Taue then delivered a peace declaration to the ceremony. He said there was “widespread unease” about Mr Abe’s bid to alter the country’s pacifist constitutional.
A survivor of the Nagasaki attack, 86-year-old Sumiteru Taniguchi, described the injuries he had suffered and said he could not accept Mr Abe’s new legislation.
The legislation would allow Japan to engage in combat – in defence of an ally which comes under attack – for the first time since World War Two.
In his address to the ceremony, Mr Abe said Japan remained “determined to pursue a world without nuclear weapons”.
In a statement read out on his behalf, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said: “Nagasaki must be the last – we cannot allow any future use of nuclear weapons. The humanitarian consequences are too great. No more Nagasakis. No more Hiroshimas.”
The effects of the bomb were instant and devastating. It destroyed a third of the city, killing thousands instantly and condemning more to death from radiation sickness.
Days later, Japan surrendered, ending World War Two, although the necessity of the two bombs has been debated ever since.
“It was a clear, sunny day and there was a sudden, blinding flash,” remembered one Nagasaki survivor, Toru Mine, who now guides visitors at a museum dedicated to the event.
“My first thought was that it should be a thunder, but I soon realised it’s bizarre to have a thunder in a clear sky.”
Mr Taniguchi still bears scars on his back, the remains of three ribs that half rotted after the bomb dropped protruding from his chest.
”While people around me were dying, I lived. People say I survived but I think I was kept alive. I am still suffering,” he said. – BBC News

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