Published: Wed, August 09, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Text of United Nations chief's message to Nagasaki ceremony on A-bomb anniv.

Text of United Nations chief's message to Nagasaki ceremony on A-bomb anniv.

Japan is marking the 72nd anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki amid threats of a new bombing in the region resulting from growing tension between the US and North Korea.

In a speech to mark the anniversary, Abe said that both nuclear and non-nuclear weapon states needed to work towards nuclear abolition.

"The Japanese people and the whole world clearly remember the awful disaster that hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives owing to the A-bombs the U.S. dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki", the Korean Central News Agency said in an article.

The two survivors said Japan's refusal to join the United Nations nuclear treaty, apparently because it's protected under the USA nuclear umbrella, was heartbreaking.

"Having North Korea join the treaty will benefit Japan and South Korea in a security sense, while those two countries will have to commit to not stationing USA nuclear weapons on their soil, thus reassuring North Korea and encouraging it to disarm", he said.

Taue sharply criticized Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government for what he said were empty promises about working to achieve a nuclear-free world.

Kawasaki suggests that if Japan can not join now, it should set a policy goal to join the treaty with one condition: That both North and South Korea must also join at the same time.

"The worldwide situation surrounding nuclear weapons is becoming increasingly tense", Taue said.

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In addition to Canada's Lim, North Korea is holding three Americans. 'As this is an active case, we will not provide further comment at this time'.

"A strong sense of anxiety is spreading across the globe that in the not too distant future these weapons could actually be used again", Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue told the crowd at the city's Peace Park.

Pyongyang and Washington have traded escalating threats.

But regarding nuclear weapons, "We "hibakusha" and our groups share a clear goal, which is to abolish nuclear weapons from the world", Kim said. "The states possessing nuclear weapons have a special responsibility to undertake concrete and irreversible steps in nuclear disarmament".

North Korea soon fired back with a threat of its own.

Some sort of commitment - that is what 83-year-old Sachiko Matsuo called for in Nagasaki, where at age 11 she lived through the atomic bombing that killed almost half her family. The bombings hastened Japan's surrender to Allied forces on August 15, 1945, bringing the six-year-old global conflict to an end.

The combined number people who survived either bombing - known in Japan as "hibakusha", stood at 164,621 as of March.

"Everything was burning", said Sanae Ikeda, a hibakusha who recently spoke with the Seattle Times. The impact of the explosion threw them both to the ground, almost killing him.

The survivors' average age was 81.41 as of March. Within days, however, his five siblings were dead.

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