News Column

Nagasaki Marks Anniversary of Atomic Bombing

August 9, 2013

The Japanese city of Nagasaki on Friday observed the 68th anniversary of the US atomic bombing amid Japan's struggles with its nuclear power station disaster.

The nation's worst nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station "has yet to be resolved and radioactive contamination continues to spread," Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue said at the ceremony.

On Wednesday, the government said an estimated 300 tons of radiation-contaminated water is flowing into the Pacific Ocean daily from the plant, which suffered meltdowns at three of its reactors after it was hit by the 2011 tsunami.

The mayor also criticized the Japanese government for its refusal to support a statement unconditionally rejecting the use of nuclear weapons. The statement was prepared in April for the next Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review meeting.

"The Japanese government did not sign it, betraying the expectations of global society," Taue said.

If Japan cannot sign, "this implies that the government would approve of their use under some circumstances. This stance contradicts the resolution that Japan would never allow anyone else to become victims of a nuclear bombing," the mayor said.

Taue also criticized Japan's nuclear cooperation deal with India.

"Japan's cooperation with India would also provide North Korea, which withdrew from the NPT and is committed to nuclear development, with an excuse to justify its actions," he said.

The city observed a moment of silence at 11:02 am (0202 GMT), the time when an atomic bomb was dropped over the city.

About 74,000 people were killed in the bombing, the second in the closing days of World War II.

Tens of thousands of people also died instantly in the first bombing in Hiroshima three days earlier.

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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