Nagasaki mayor calls for end to reliance on nuke weapons
August 9, 2017
NAGASAKI- Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue called for an end to countries' reliance on nuclear weapons as a means to protect themselves, as the southwestern Japan city marked the 72nd anniversary of the US atomic bombing on Wednesday.
In his annual Nagasaki Peace Declaration, Taue stressed the significance of a treaty to ban nuclear weapons, adopted at the United Nations in July, urging Japan to join the pact.
He read out the declaration at an annual memorial ceremony held at Nagasaki Peace Park that was attended by hibakusha atomic bomb survivors, bereaved families of victims and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Other participants included representatives from 58 foreign countries, including the United States, Russia, China and three other nuclear powers.
At the ring of a bell, participants observed a minute of silence at 11:02 a.m. (2:02 a.m. GMT), the exact time when the bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945, three days after the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima in western Japan.
A list of the names of 3,551 people newly confirmed in the year to July dead due to the atomic bombing of Nagasaki was dedicated at a memorial, bringing the total death toll to 175,743.
Taue, praising the adoption of the nuclear ban pact, said, "I would like to call this treaty, which mentions the suffering and struggles of the hibakusha, 'The Hiroshima-Nagasaki Treaty.'"
"The human race is now faced with the question of how this long awaited treaty can be utilized to make further progress," he said.
Referring to nuclear and nuclear umbrella states, he said, "Please reconsider your policies of seeking to protect your nations through nuclear weapons." He also urged members of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to fulfill their obligation to achieve nuclear disarmament.
Taue criticized the Japanese government for not participating in talks on the nuclear ban treaty, saying this stance is "quite incomprehensible to those of us living in the cities that suffered atomic bombings."
"I urge the Japanese government to reconsider the policy of relying on the nuclear umbrella," Taue said, demanding that the country join the treaty at the earliest possible opportunity.Jiji Press
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