Nagasaki marks A-bomb anniversary with call to replace nuclear power

08/09/2011
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Peace Statue at Nagasaki Peace Park

NAGASAKI (majirox news) — Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue called for Japan to stop using nuclear power and look toward renewable energies in a ceremony Aug. 9 to mark the 66th anniversary of the atomic attack on the city.

“No matter how long it will take, it is necessary to promote the development of renewable energies in place of nuclear power in a bid to transform ourselves into a society with a safer energy base,” Tagami said while delivering Nagasaki’s Peace Declaration.

This year’s ceremony, which marked the atomic bomb the United States dropped on Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945, in the closing days of World War II, assumed greater importance than usual due to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear and the presence of U.S. representatives at the ceremony for the first time.

A moment of silence was observed at 11:02 a.m. – the same time the atomic bomb struck Nagasaki — by a crowd of about 6,000, including Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

About 149,000 of the city’s wartime population of some 250,000 were killed by the atomic attack, which destroyed about 36 percent of Nagasaki in an instant.

Tuesday’s ceremony was attended by James Zumwalt, Charge d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo.

“I am honored to be the first U.S. representative to attend the Peace Memorial in Nagasaki, and to express my respect for all the victims of World War II,” Zumwalt said earlier. “The United States looks forward to continuing to work with Japan to advance President (Barack) Obama’s goal of realizing a world without nuclear weapons.”

Taue called on Obama to move toward his 2009 pledge to create a world without nuclear weapons.

“Such a concrete goal presented by the most powerful nuclear weapons state raised expectations all over the world,” the Nagasaki mayor said. “While some positive results have certainly been achieved, such as the conclusion of an agreement between the U.S. and Russia on the reduction of nuclear weapons, no significant progress has been observed since. In fact, there has even been a regressive trend, such as the implementation of new nuclear simulation tests.”

Full transcript of the Nagasaki Peace Declaration 2011 (English)

http://www1.city.nagasaki.nagasaki.jp/peace/english/appeal/index.html

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