- Mayor Shiro Suzuki urged the abolishment of nuclear weapons on the 78th anniversary of the city’s atomic bombing
- His remarks came months after G7 industrial powers issued a joint statement on nuclear disarmament
- Suzuki noted that other nuclear states have amped up their dependence on nuclear weapons due to Russia’s nuclear threat
Nagasaki mayor Shiro Suzuki has urged the world to do away with nuclear weapons while speaking on the 78th anniversary of the U.S. dropping an atomic bomb on the city.
Suzuki’s comments came about two months after Hiroshima hosted the Group of Seven industrial powers in a summit that saw leaders issue a joint statement calling for the continued non-use of nuclear weapons. The statement also justified having such arms in possession to “serve defensive purposes, deter aggression and prevent war and coercion.”
During his peace declaration Wednesday, Suzuki said, “Now is the time to show courage and make the decision to break free from dependence on nuclear deterrence. As long as states are dependent on nuclear deterrence, we cannot realize a world without nuclear weapons.”
The mayor also noted that other nuclear states have amped up their dependence on nuclear weapons or advanced their capabilities in light of Russia’s nuclear threat. He added that this has increased the threat of nuclear war, and there are other players apart from Russia that also represent the risk of nuclear deterrence.
Nearly eight decades have passed since the second nuclear weapon, named “Fat Man,” was dropped by the U.S. on the city of Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945. The unforgettable mushroom cloud billowed over the city just about three days after the first atomic bomb, “Little Boy,” was dropped on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. Both incidents claimed thousands of lives and sealed Japan’s surrender in the Second World War.
Suzuki, whose parents survived the Nagasaki attack, expressed concerns during his remarks Wednesday about the horrific tragedy being forgotten with the passing of time.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned Russia for threatening to use nuclear weapons in a Sunday ceremony in Hiroshima that marked the 78th anniversary of the first atomic bombing.
“Japan, as the only nation to have suffered atomic bombings in war, will continue efforts towards a nuclear-free world,” Kishida said during the ceremony.
“The path towards it is becoming increasingly difficult because of deepening divisions in the international community over nuclear disarmament and Russia’s nuclear threat,” he added.
Kishida, whose family hails from Hiroshima, said the devastation suffered by Hiroshima and Nagasaki due to the “nuclear weapons can never be repeated.”