Sunday marks 72 years since Hiroshima, Japan had an atomic bomb dropped on it. The United States of America dropped the bomb to end all bombs on the Japanese city, destroying most of it, along with a portion of the people who lived there, helping to bring World War II to an end.
At Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, around 50,000 people gathered Sunday. This included representatives from 80 different nations, all coming together for an annual ceremony remembering that dark day at the end of WWII.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the would needs to work together to end the need of nuclear weapons. He said that for a world to realize an existence without nuclear weapons, all nations, nuclear and non-nuclear need to come together and participate.
In July, The United Nations (UN), for the first time, came together on an nuclear weapons ban agreement. However, the United States, Japan, and eight other nuclear weapon countries refused to participate in negotiations of the vote. Most who criticized the treaty, including the U.S. pointed to a North Korea nuclear threat. NPR reports that next month member states can sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, if it gets ratified. It would go into effect about three months later.
Japan, the only country ever to have suffered a nuclear attack, already has a policy of not producing, possessing, or allowing nuclear weapons inside its borders. While they abide by their own policy, their proximity to North Korea was likely their reason for not taking part in the vote.
Around 140,000 people were killed on August 6, 1945 when the U.S. Boeing B-29 bomber, the Enola Gay, dropped the first nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, A second bomb, dropped three days later on the Japanese city of Nagasaki, killed around 75,000 more people. The Japanese surrendered mere weeks later.
In 2016, then-President Barack Obama visited Hiroshima, becoming the first U.S. president to ever visit the city. While there he called for an end to nuclear weapons. Future president Donald Trump, was upset over the president’s visit at the time, tweeting that while Obama is in Hiroshima, he does not discuss the sneak attack the Japanese hit Pearl Harbor with, killing thousands of Americans.
Many do feel that if the Japanese would not have allied themselves with Nazi-Germany, and not attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor, a nuclear bomb may not have been dropped by the Americans anywhere to end the war. There would likely have been no war in the Pacific. But, that was not the case.
Instead of focusing on a denuclearized world, President Trump has focused on North Korea and what to do to denuclearized them. In February Trump said that if others are going to have nuclear weapons, the U.S. will be at the top of the pack.
Right now, it appears that sanctions are the current tool for the world to take on North Korea. The day prior to the anniversary at Hiroshima, Saturday, the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously for new sanctions to be imposed on North Korea. This follows last months tests of long-range missiles.
By Cletus Dillwood
Photo Courtesy U.S. Army