Nagasaki mayor urges Japanese government to join nuclear ban treaty at city’s A-bomb anniversary

On August 9, the City of Nagasaki held its Peace Memorial Ceremony to commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the atomic bombing of that city. At 11:02 a.m., the time Nagasaki was attacked with the atomic bomb, those in attendance offered silent prayers. In his Peace Declaration, Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue praised the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that was recently adopted at the United Nations, saying “All the efforts of the hibakusha over the years finally took shape.” Mr. Taue then urged the Japanese government to join the treaty “as the only country in the world to have suffered wartime atomic bombings” and “to reconsider the policy of relying on the nuclear umbrella” of the United States at the earliest possible opportunity. He also asked the Japanese government “to affirm to the world its commitment to the pacifist ethos of the Constitution of Japan” and “its strict observance of the Three Non-nuclear Principles.” The sufferers of the nuclear accident at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, which took place in 2011 when the Great East Japan Earthquake struck the Tohoku region, were also mentioned in the mayor’s Peace Declaration. It was the seventh straight year that Mr. Taue has referred to the sufferers of Fukushima.

After the Peace Declaration, the “Pledge for Peace” was read out by Yoshitoshi Fukahori, 88, the representative of the atomic bomb survivors. After reflecting on his grief over losing his sister in the atomic bombing, Mr. Fukahori expressed concern that operations at Japan’s nuclear power plants have resumed, one after another, and he appealed for a shift in the nation’s energy policy from its heavy emphasis on nuclear energy to more natural forms of energy.

The number of Nagasaki A-bomb victims whose deaths were confirmed over the past year was 3,551, bringing the total in the register to 175,743.