Britons commemorate Hiroshima nuclear bomb

This video about Hiroshima, Japan says about itself:

Testimony of hibakusha by Mr. Takashi Nakata (in English)

29 July 2011

Mr. Takashi Nakata gives testimony on his experience of atomic bombing.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 7 August 2015, about commemorating the Hiroshima nuclear bomb, seventy years ago:

Tom Gooding

I’ve been coming to these demonstrations for years, so I don’t see any reason for stopping by the fact I can’t walk anymore. I follow all these demonstrations instead of political meetings, I’m a free-thinker.

Brenda McGraith

I’m here because it’s the 70th anniversary. We remembered the start of World War I last year and Victory Day in May, this is another very important anniversary that we need to remember.

Thais Court

I just think it’s really important to remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It’s really important to come and show your opposition to nuclear weapons and to remember everyone who died and everything that has happened. Yes, it makes it more special that I come with my grandmother.

Monique Buchli

I feel very strongly about weapons in general. I feel they are not needed. If we work for peace and commit ourselves to create a world without war, without weapons, we would actually achieve much more. Nuclear weapons are just top of the list of the most awful weapons we ever invented and we should never use it. That’s why I am here, to tell the world, come on, stop having these horrible weapons.

Hiroshima atomic bomb commemorated today

This video says about itself:

Shigeko SASAMORI / Hibakusha Interview

May 11th (Fri) 2012, in Brooklyn, New York

Shigeko SASAMORI, a teenager in Hiroshima when the atomic bomb struck on August 6, 1945, was one of the 25 Hiroshima Maidens who were brought to New York City in 1955 for reconstructive surgery by Norman Cousins and Rev. Hiroshi Tanimoto. She has been a disarmament activist ever since.

Hibakusha Stories and Youth Arts New York will be sponsoring school visits in May of 2011.

Each school will be visited by one or more Hibakusha— survivors of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, in the summer of 1945. Visits will provide students with a rare opportunity to hear eyewitness testimonies of one of the most significant events in human history and will introduce the students to the concepts of peace, forgiveness and reconciliation. The two-period visit will include a brief introduction to nuclear issues, first-hand accounts from the survivors themselves, small group discussions, and a final sharing from each group.

By Joana Ramiro and James Tweedie in Britain:


Thursday 6th august 2015

Exactly 70 years ago the world’s first atomic bomb obliterated Hiroshima

HUNDREDS of thousands of people all over the world united today to tell world leaders: “Don’t forget Hiroshima,” 70 years after the atomic bomb annihilated the Japanese city.

And today — exactly 70 years on from the Hiroshima bombing and almost to the day of the equally devastating Nagasaki bombing — medics at Japanese Red Cross Society hospitals are treating thousands of survivors — known as Hibakusha — for long-term health effects.

Nearly two-thirds of deaths at the institutions are due to cancer.

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) president Peter Maurer said: “What more compelling argument could there be for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons, especially as most of the bombs in the arsenals of nuclear-armed states today are more powerful and destructive?”

In the year last year alone, the Japanese Red Cross Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Survivors hospitals treated almost 11,000 of the nearly 200,000 living survivors.

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies president Tadateru Konoe will appeal for world leaders to sit at peace memorial ceremonies in Hiroshima and Nagasaki this week.

“This commemoration is a reminder of the indiscriminate humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons,” he said.

“It is a reminder that these consequences travel across space and time and that, once unleashed, they can never be contained.”

Meanwhile events in London and Edinburgh today will also mark the countdown towards the potential renewal of Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons in March 2016. Heading the ceremony in the capital will be Labour leadership frontrunner Jeremy Corbyn, a long-standing anti-nuclear advocate, who called on the government to lead the disarmament.

“The 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima should serve as a reminder to us all of the human cost of war,” Mr Corbyn told the Star.

“It should also remind us of the lack of progress in achieving nuclear disarmament, despite global agreement on the need to do so. “We must break the impasse in global negotiations and push forward to an agreement that sees these weapons banned, as we have with chemical, biological and other weapons of mass destruction.”

Mr Corbyn will stand alongside the Green Party’s Jenny Jones AM, writer AL Kennedy, Battersea Peace Pagoda Reverend Gyoro Nagase and others during the two-minute silence honouring the hundreds of thousands killed in the bombings.

The event will be hosted by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, whose general secretary Kate Hudson said she was mourning both the 1945 victims and those “whose lives have been blighted by their effects.”

She added: “On this poignant anniversary we must reaffirm our determination that this should never happen again.

“The British government can play its part by scrapping Trident and kick-starting global abolition.

Senior military figures say that Trident is militarily useless and the British public thinks it’s immoral and exorbitantly expensive.

“Today of all days we should remember what the effects of a nuclear bomb are and realise the only way to stop another detonation — by accident or design — is by getting rid of all of them.”

Participants will be laying white flowers by the Hiroshima Commemorative Cherry Tree planted on the square in 1967.

In Scotland, members of Trident Ploughshares will be kicking off a fasting period of three days in an event launched by MSPs Fiona Hyslop and Bill Kidd.

The fast will last from today, when Hiroshima was hit by the first atomic bomb, until August 9, the date of the Nagasaki attack.

Abe is determined to overrule his country’s constitution and restore its historic rule over the region, writes KENNY COYLE. JAPANESE premier Shinzo Abe seems intent on marking the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII with empty gestures of regret, while at the same time stoking Japan’s future military ambitions: here.

Nagasaki mayor criticizes Japanese government militarism

This video is called Shock Doctrine in Japan: Shinzo Abe‘s Rightward Shift to Militarism, Secrecy in Fukushima’s Wake.

From Associated Press:

Japanese defence policy questioned on 69th anniversary of atomic bombing

Mari Yamaguchi

Published Saturday, August 9, 2014 7:59AM EDT

TOKYO — The mayor of Nagasaki on Saturday criticized Prime Minister Shinzo Abe‘s push toward Japan’s more assertive defence policy, as the city marked the 69th anniversary of the atomic bombing.

In his “peace declaration” speech at the ceremony in Nagasaki’s Peace Park, Mayor Tomihisa Taue urged Abe’s government to listen to growing public concerns over Japan’s commitment to its pacifist pledge.

Thousands of attendants, including U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and a record number of representatives from 51 countries, offered a minute of silence and prayed for the victims at 11:02 a.m., the moment the bomb was dropped over Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945, as bells rang. They also laid wreaths of white and yellow chrysanthemums at the Statue of Peace.

The U.S. dropped two atomic bombs on Japan in August 1945, prompting Tokyo’s World War II surrender. The first on Hiroshima killed 140,000 people and the Nagasaki bomb killed another 70,000.

The anniversary comes as Japan is divided over the government’s decision to allow its military to defend foreign countries and play greater roles overseas by exercising what is referred to as collective self-defence. To achieve that goal, Abe’s Cabinet revised its interpretation of Japan’s war-renouncing constitution.

Pacifism, enshrined in the constitution, is the “founding principle” of postwar Japan and Nagasaki, Taue said.

“However, the rushed debate over collective self-defence has prompted concern that this principle is shaking,” he said. “I strongly request that the Japanese government take note of the situation and carefully listen to the voices of distress and concerns.”

Polls show more than half of respondents are opposed to the decision, mainly because of sensitivity over Japan’s wartime past and devastation at home.

Representing the Nagasaki survivors, Miyako Jodai, 75, said that Abe’s government was not living up to expectations.

Jodai, a retired teacher who was exposed to radiation just 2.4 kilometres (1.5 miles) from ground zero, said that the defence policy that puts more weight on military power was “outrageous” and a shift away from pacifism.

“Please stand by our commitment to peace. Please do not forget the sufferings of the atomic bombing survivors,” Jodai said at the ceremony.

The number of surviving victims, known as “hibakusha,” was just more than 190,000 this year across Japan. Their average age is 79. In Nagasaki, 3,355 survivors died over the past year, while 5,507 passed away in Hiroshima.

Abe kept his eyes closed and sat motionless as he listened to the outright criticism, rare at a solemn ceremony.

In his speech, he did not mention his defence policy or the pacifist constitution. He repeated his sympathy to the victims and said Japan as the sole victim of nuclear attacks has the duty to take leadership in achieving a nuclear-free society, while telling the world of the inhumane side of nuclear weapons.

The speech had minor tweaks from last year’s, after Abe faced criticism that the speech he delivered in Hiroshima on Thursday was almost identical to the one from the previous year, Kyodo News reported.

See also here.

Nuclear Attack on Japan was Opposed by American Military Leadership: here.

The Japanese government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe released its latest defence white paper this week, setting the stage for further boosting Japan’s military capacities, directed unmistakeably against China: here.

World War I dead, Hiroshima dead and British nuclear weapons

This video from the USA says about itself:

On August 6, 2007, activists in Syracuse, NY, marched for a nuclear free future. As part of this Hiroshima Day parade they called for an end to nuclear weapons, an end to nuclear power, and for a responsible energy policy.

By Symon Hill in Britain:

An insult to the dead

Wednesday 6th August 2014

Today, on Hiroshima Day, SYMON HILL calls on our political leaders to mark WWI by doing the decent thing – abolishing Trident

FEW things illustrate the absurdity of British political debate more than the row over the notes attached to wreaths from party leaders to mark the World War I centenary.

Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg were accused of insulting the people killed in war because they did not write personal messages on their wreaths.

David Cameron’s wreath came with a handwritten note and signature.

This is a row drummed up by politicians and commentators utterly detached from the realities of war.

Cameron and Clegg insult the victims of war every day by ploughing billions into the sixth-highest military budget in the world.

Just as we should “never forget” World War I, today we mark the anniversary of another event that should always be remembered.

At 8.15am on August 6 1945, US forces, with the backing of the British government, dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima in Japan. Around 70,000 — 80,000 people were killed instantly.

Numbers are difficult to estimate, but the death toll by the end of the year may been double this figure.

Some died of radiation and injuries. With over two-thirds of the city’s buildings destroyed, many became homeless and slowly died of starvation or hypothermia.

Three days after the bombing, the US dropped a similar bomb on Nagasaki.

It is a chilling thought that those bombs were relatively small in their impact compared to what some of today’s nuclear arms can do.

If Cameron were serious about honouring the dead of past wars, he would not have just spent millions upgrading the Atomic Weapons Establishment in Berkshire, where major parts of Trident nuclear weapons are developed.

The payment implies an arrogant assumption that MPs will back Cameron’s plan of renewing Trident when the decision comes before Parliament in 2016.

If Miliband wants to honour the dead, he still has time to speak up for a different approach to the world.

This would include reduced military spending and an end to arms exports to oppressive regimes.

It would have to include opposition to the renewal of the British government’s nuclear arsenal.

If he took such a stance, Miliband would be aligning himself with public opinion.

Trident is an issue on which the British public are well to the left of most politicians.

A poll in 2010 showed 63 per cent opposed to Trident renewal. This had risen to 79 per cent by April this year.

Protests and blockades are becoming ever more frequent at the Atomic Weapons Establishment, many co-ordinated by the diverse activist group Action AWE.

Along with CND, Action AWE will mark the Nagasaki anniversary on Saturday by unfurling a seven-mile scarf between the two AWE bases of Aldermaston and Burghfield.

Over 4,000 people have knitted parts of this scarf. The novelty of their action has triggered local media interest where the knitting is taking place and brought the anti-Trident message to people who may not otherwise have heard it.

History shows time and again that the build-up of arms makes war more likely, not less.

In the early years of the 20th century, right-wing politicians were keen to quote the Roman saying, “If you want peace, prepare for war.”

As we remember both World War I and the Hiroshima bombing, it should be obvious that if we prepare for war, we will get what we have prepared for.

Symon Hill is a socialist Christian writer and campaigner. He is teaching about the peace movement in World War I for the Workers’ Educational Association.

Political and military leaders from Europe and the US used commemorations marking the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I to press for new wars: here.

An extraordinary pro-war propaganda juggernaut has been set in motion in Australia this week, with commemorations held across the country to mark the centenary of World War I: here.

A remarkable document published July 31 on US military planning calls for the Pentagon to prepare to wage as many as half a dozen wars at the same time, including wars in which the antagonist possesses nuclear weapons: here.

Japan marks 69th anniversary of Hiroshima bombing: here.

Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui challenges world leaders to see atomic bomb-scarred cities first-hand to be convinced that nuclear weapons should not exist: here.

“War Makes Everyone Crazy”: Hiroshima Survivor Reflects on 69th Anniversary of Atomic Bombing: here.

NOAM CHOMSKY TACKLES THE NUCLEAR ERA: “If some extraterrestrial species were compiling a history of Homo sapiens, they might well break their calendar into two eras: BNW (before nuclear weapons) and NWE (the nuclear weapons era). The latter era, of course, opened on August 6, 1945, the first day of the countdown to what may be the inglorious end of this strange species, which attained the intelligence to discover the effective means to destroy itself, but — so the evidence suggests — not the moral and intellectual capacity to control its worst instincts.” [HuffPost]

English commemoration of Hiroshima, Nagasaki nuclear victims

This video, of a famous Turkish poem, with English subtitles, on a child who died from the Hiroshima nuclear bomb in 1945, says about itself:

Hiroshima child- Fazil Say – Nazim Hikmet, None can hear my silent tread (kiz çocuğu)

Hiroshima Child

I come and stand at every door
But none can hear my silent tread
I knock and yet remain unseen
For I am dead for I am dead

I’m only seven though I died
In Hiroshima long ago
I’m seven now as I was then
When children die they do not grow

My hair was scorched by swirling flame
My eyes grew dim my eyes grew blind
Death came and turned my bones to dust
And that was scattered by the wind

I need no fruit I need no rice
I need no sweets nor even bread
I ask for nothing for myself
For I am dead for I am dead

All that I need is that for peace
You fight today you fight today
So that the children of this world
Can live and grow and laugh and play

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Campaigners remember US atom bomb victims

Friday 02 August 2013

Peace campaigners in Sheffield are to commemorate the dropping of atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The United States unleashed the world’s first and only atomic attacks in 1945 on the mostly civilian targets in Japan.

August 6 is Hiroshima Day, with events beginning at Sheffield Town Hall at 10am.

Each year the Sheffield campaigners stage events such as a “peace picnic” in memory of the hundreds of thousands who were killed immediately or died later from their injuries and cancers caused by radiation.

Sheffield Lord Mayor Vicky Priestly will sign a Mayors for Peace declaration and a message will be read from the Mayor of Hiroshima.

On August 11 Nagasaki Day will be marked from 2pm in the Japanese Garden.

Peace activists stood in silence across the world today to honour the 250,000 Japanese killed by US atom bombs in World War II – and call time on today’s deadly nukes.

Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue criticized the Japanese government at a ceremony Friday for refusing to sign a statement rejecting the use of nuclear weapons. The statement was offered at an international disarmament meeting in April: here.

Hiroshima, Nagasaki remembered in Ghent, Belgium: here.

We recently returned from a 12 day speaking tour in Japan that took us to Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Tokyo, and Okinawa. Before we joined forces in Hiroshima prior to the August 6 commemorative events, Oliver [Stone] lent support to the activists protesting the South Korean naval base under construction on Jeju, South Korea, less than 500 kilometers from Shanghai. Peter was in Kyoto with participants in American University’s Nuclear Studies Institute’s annual study-abroad class. Being in Hiroshima and Nagasaki around the anniversaries of the atomic bombings was a powerful experience for both of us and a vivid reminder of why whitewashing the past is so critical to perpetuating empire in the present — a project in which the U.S. and Japan have collaborated for the past 68 years: here.

Support the British Nuclear Test Veterans Recognition Campaign: here.

Hiroshima survivors mark anniversary

This video from Japan is called Anti-War, Anti-Nuke Parade in Hiroshima city August 6, 2011.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

50,000 mark anniversary at peace park

Monday 06 August 2012

by Our Foreign Desk

A bell tolled to begin the moment of silence today while tens of thousands marked the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

Ageing survivors, relatives, government officials and foreign delegates joined hands in prayer during an annual ceremony at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park commemorating the US bombing of the city nearly seven decades ago.

“On this day, in this city, let me proclaim again: there must never be another nuclear attack, never,” said UN high representative for disarmament affairs Angela Kane, reading a message from secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon.

Such weapons have no legitimate place in our world. Their elimination is both morally right and a practical necessity in protecting humanity.”

A US B-29 bomber named Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on August 6 1945, turning the city into a nuclear inferno and killing an estimated 140,000.

Around 50,000 people attended the official ceremony, while thousands of others joined demonstrations, marches, forums and concerts across the city, which is a focal point for the global movement against nuclear weapons.

In separate rallies more than 7,000 people including atomic bomb survivors and evacuees from the Fukushima area staged anti-nuclear demonstrations.

Usually sedate Japan has seen a string of anti-nuclear protests since Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda ordered the restart of two reactors in June.

Many atomic bomb survivors, known as “hibakusha,” oppose both military and civil use of nuclear power, pointing to the tens of thousands who were killed instantly in the Hiroshima blast and the many more who later died from radiation sickness and cancers linked to the attack.

“We want to work together with people in Fukushima and join our voices calling for no more nuclear victims,” said 70-year-old atomic bomb survivor Toshiyuki Mimaki.

Demonstrators marched around the headquarters of Chugoku Electric Power, a regional utility which has reactors of its own, chanting: “Noda should quit. We oppose nuclear power.”

Weekly demonstrations outside the prime minister’s official residence have drawn thousands, while a rally in west Tokyo last month saw a crowd that swelled to 170,000.

Peace campaigners called on Britain and the rest of the world to disarm all nuclear weapons today on the 67th anniversary of the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima: here.