On This Day in 1945: Atomic Bomb Dropped On Nagasaki
One of the darkest chapters of war history in human civilization is the atom bombing done by the USA on Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War 2. While the world suffered through two horrific wars in the first half of the 20th century, what happened in Japan was completely abhorrent and devastating.
The US first dropped a bomb nicknamed “Little Boy” on August 6 and destroyed the southwestern city of Hiroshima. The bombing killed over 140,000 people out of the total estimated population of 3.5 lakh. The death toll continued to increase later due to injuries and radiation-related deaths.
Just 3 days later, the US attacked Japan with another atom bombing. This time over the southwestern city of Nagasaki. At 11:02 AM on August 9, US B029 bomber Bockscar dropped a 4.5-ton plutonium bomb nicknamed “Fat Man”. While the hills surrounding the city averted some destruction, an estimated 60,000 to 80,000 lives were still lost because of the bombing.
Monday, 9 August, marks the 76th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the Japanese city of Nagasaki by US forces. The day is observed every year to promote peace and create awareness about the threat from nuclear weapons.
Marking the 76th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of the city. The Nagasaki mayor Taue urged Japan, the United States and Russia to do more to eliminate nuclear weapons.
In his speech at the Nagasaki Peace Park, Mayor Tomihisa Taue urged Japan’s government to take the lead in creating a nuclear-free zone in Northeast Asia rather than staying under the U.S. nuclear umbrella — a reference to the U.S. promise to use its own nuclear weapons to defend allies without them.
Taue also singled out the United States and Russia — which have the biggest arsenals by far — to do more for nuclear disarmament, as he raised concern that nuclear states have backtracked from disarmament efforts and are upgrading and miniaturizing nuclear weapons.
“Please look into building a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Northeast Asia that would create a ‘non-nuclear umbrella’ instead of a ‘nuclear umbrella’ and be a step in the direction of a world free of nuclear weapons,” Taue said as he urged Japan’s government to do more to take action for nuclear disarmament.
The mayor also called Japan’s government and lawmakers to quickly sign the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that took effect in January.
Tokyo has renounced its own possession, production or hosting of nuclear weapons, but as a U.S. ally, Japan hosts 50,000 American troops and is protected by the U.S. nuclear umbrella.
The post-WWII security arrangement complicates the push to get Japan to sign the treaty as it beefs up its own military while stepping up defence cooperation with other nuclear weapons states such as Britain and France, to deal with threats from North Korea and China, among others.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said the security environment is severe and that global views are deeply divided over nuclear disarmament, and that it is necessary to remove distrust by promoting dialogue and form a mutual ground for discussion.
Taue also called for substantial progress toward nuclear disarmament to be made at next year’s Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty conference, “starting with greater steps by the U.S. and Russia to reduce nuclear weapons.”
He asked Suga’s government to step up and speed up medical and welfare support for the ageing atomic bombing survivors, or hibakusha, whose average age is now over 83 years.