HIROSHIMA, Japan — Hiroshima’s appeal of “never again” on the 72nd anniversary Aug. 6 of the world’s first atomic bomb attack has gained urgency as North Korea accelerates work on its nuclear weapons program, showing its growing prowess with increasingly frequent missile launches.
Many Japanese and others in the region seem resigned to North Korea’s apparent newfound capacity to launch missiles capable of reaching much of the continental U.S. But the threat lends a deeper sense of alarm in Hiroshima, where 140,000 died in that first A-bomb attack, which was followed on Aug. 9, 1945, by another that killed more than 70,000 people in Nagasaki.
During a peace declaration held in Hiroshima on Aug. 6, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui said “this hell is not a thing of the past. As long as nuclear weapons exist and policymakers threaten their use, their horror could leap into our present at any moment. … Humankind must never commit such an act.”
Matsui urged nuclear states, as well as Japan, to join the nuclear weapons ban treaty adopted by the United Nations in July.
“We must eradicate nuclear weapons from the earth to make the world a safe place to live,” Matsui said. “There is still a lot to do, and we must keep working on it.”
— Associated Press