The 68th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, Japan with atomic weapons in World War II was commemorated around the world on Tuesday. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe addressed a crowd of 50,000 people at a ceremony in a peace park in Hiroshima, while anti-war and nuclear disarmament groups around the globe organised rallies of their own.
Between 90,000 and 166,000 people were killed in the bombing of Hiroshima by the United States on 6 August 1945. The legacy of the atomic attacks is evident in modern Japan; the country continues to be dominated by strong opposition to nuclear weapons. Abe spoke on Tuesday of a “duty to continue to remind the world of [nuclear weapons’] inhumanity”.
Rallies were organised across the UK by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Hundreds attended a rally in Tavistock Square, London, at the Hiroshima Cherry Tree. The Scottish CND hosted a series of events, including a peace walk between the Botanic Gardens and Kelvingrove Park in Glasgow, with speakers including Cllr Bill Butler and Cllr Martha Wardrop.
Kate Hudson, General Secretary of the CND, commented: “Over 340,000 people have died as a result of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As well as the remembrance ceremony in Tavistock Square, CND has sent a representative to Japan to pay our respects at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony.”
“Today, Britain has 225 warheads, each with the power to inflict 8 times the damage of the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima. As well as commemorating those who have died and those who are still suffering from those horrific attacks, today we must reaffirm our determination that this should never happen again. The British Government can play its part now by scrapping Trident.”
Arthur West, Chair of the Scottish CND, added: “The horror of nuclear warfare was very clearly shown by the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The memory of these two tragic events reminds everyone involved in Scottish CND and the wider Peace Movement that we must continue with our efforts to rid our country and our world of the menace of illegal and immoral nuclear weapons.”