Saturday 10 December 2016

Use Hiroshima anniversary for peace - mayor

Barney Henderson Tokyo

Published 07/08/2015 | 02:30

A woman carrying her baby, prays for the atomic bomb victims in front of the cenotaph for the victims of the 1945 atomic bombing, at Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima.
A woman carrying her baby, prays for the atomic bomb victims in front of the cenotaph for the victims of the 1945 atomic bombing, at Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima.

The mayor of Hiroshima wants to use the 70th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on his city to call for a renewed determination never to let such a catastrophe happen again.

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At a time of increased military tensions between Japan and its neighbours, particularly China, Matsui Kazumi will call on world leaders not to forget the destruction of a city and the death of up to 166,000 of its people.

"My peace declaration will call on leaders around the world, including Japan, to stop taking actions that could cause mistrust in each other" and ultimately lead to nuclear warfare," he said.

The Chinese military carry out regular incursions into Japanese territorial waters and airspace as Beijing continues to assert its claim on the Senkaku islands.

Mr Matsui, in a recent interview, said: "I want people to come together with a new determination for peace and to promote nuclear disarmament around the world. We are sending a message from Hiroshima that no one else should suffer again like we did here."

White House aides recently hinted that President Obama will visit Hiroshima before the end of his presidency - and may even apologise to the people of Japan.

According to leaked US diplomatic cables at the time of his visit to Japan in November 2009, the US president had wanted to issue an apology for the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where up to 80,000 people died.

However, a cable from John Roos, the then US ambassador to Japan, made it clear that Japan's government did not think either an apology or a visit was appropriate. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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