Japan marks anniv. of Nagasaki bomb attack

Survivors of the devastating attack spoke at the memorial  service in Nagasaki

Survivors of the devastating attack spoke at the memorial
service in Nagasaki

An emotional memorial service has been held in the Japanese city of Nagasaki where US forces dropped an atomic bomb exactly 70 years ago.

Speeches at the ceremony criticised the attending Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for his plans to loosen the restrictions on what Japan’s military can do.

At least 70,000 people died in the attack, which came three days after another bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.

Nagasaki was only chosen after a cloud obscured the original target, Kokura.

A solemn ceremony in front of guests from 75 countries, including US ambassador Caroline Kennedy, began yesterday with a declaration read out by children.

A minute’s silence and bells marked the time of the explosion in 1945 at 11:02 (02:02 GMT).

Nagasaki mayor Tomihisa Taue then delivered a peace declaration to the ceremony. He said there was “widespread unease” about Mr Abe’s bid to alter the country’s pacifist constitutional.

A survivor of the Nagasaki attack, 86-year-old Sumiteru Taniguchi, described the injuries he had suffered and said he could not accept Mr Abe’s new legislation.

The legislation would allow Japan to engage in combat – in defence of an ally which comes under attack – for the first time since World War Two.

In his address to the ceremony, Mr Abe said Japan remained “determined to pursue a world without nuclear weapons”.

In a statement read out on his behalf, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said: “Nagasaki must be the last – we cannot allow any future use of nuclear weapons. The humanitarian consequences are too great. No more Nagasakis. No more Hiroshimas.”

An image of the mushroom cloud from the bomb was projected on to a cathedral.

–BBC

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