Nagasaki marks atomic bomb anniversary

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The Japanese city of Nagasaki on Monday commemorated the 76th anniversary of its destruction by a US atomic bomb, with the mayor calling for the global community to build on a new nuclear ban treaty.

Nagasaki was flattened in an atomic inferno that killed 74,000 people, three days after the nuclear bomb that hit Hiroshima.

The twin attacks rang in the nuclear age and gave Japan the bleak distinction of being the only country to be struck by atomic weapons.

Survivors and a handful of foreign dignitaries offered a silent prayer at 11:02 am (0202 GMT), the exact time the second — and last — nuclear weapon used in wartime was dropped.

For a second year, the number of people attending was much smaller due to coronavirus restrictions.

The ceremony is the first since an international treaty banning nuclear weapons came into force last year.

“World leaders must commit to nuclear arms reductions and build trust through dialogue, and civil society must push them in this direction,” Nagasaki mayor Tomihisa Taue said.

The treaty has not been signed by countries with nuclear arsenals, but activists believe it will have a gradual deterrent effect.

Japan has not signed it either, saying the accord carries no weight without buy-in from nuclear-armed states.

File photo by Photo EPA-EFE/JIJI

Read more via France 24/AFP

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