World must commit to nuclear arms reductions: Nagasaki mayor

Tomihisa Taue urges Japanese government to take ‘more active role in realizing a world free of nuclear weapons’

ANKARA (AA) – Recalling the disastrous nuclear bombing by the US on Nagasaki 76 years ago, the mayor of the Japanese city on Monday urged world leaders to “commit to nuclear arms reductions.”

“In order to follow a single path toward a world free of nuclear weapons amidst these two conflicting movements, world leaders must commit to nuclear arms reductions and build trust through dialogue, and civil society must push them in this direction,” said Mayor Tomihisa Taue, addressing the city’s Peace Park.

Nagasaki is the capital of Nagasaki province, called as a prefecture in Japan, which has 47 prefectures in total.

The US dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 during World War II which resulted in the deaths of at least 140,000 people by the end of that year. The US pilots first bombed Hiroshima on Aug. 6 and Nagasaki three days later.

The 1945 bombs contained enriched uranium and had a blast yield of 13 kilotons of TNT.

Taue also asked Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s government to take a “more active role in realizing a world free of nuclear weapons,” Tokyo-based Kyodo News reported.

He said the government should sign and ratify the UN treaty banning nuclear weapons and join as an observer in its first meeting of state parties to the treaty.

A similar demand was made by the Hiroshima mayor last week at the commemoration event.

The treaty came into effect last January.

Taue said Japan should also explore “building a nuclear-weapon-free zone in northeast Asia.”

To remember the victims, a moment of silence is observed at around 11.02 a.m. local time (0202GMT), the time the nuclear bombs on Nagasaki were dropped on Aug. 9, 1945.

Nagasaki mayor also praised the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons “as a new horizon for nuclear disarmament.”

Prime Minister Suga, however, in his speech did not touch on the treaty.

The Japanese governments have been maintaining what it calls “three principles of not producing, possessing or allowing nuclear arms on its territory.”

However, an ally of the US, Japan is covered under the US nuclear umbrella and also hosts US military bases under its decades-old bilateral security deal.

Taue said the international community should “speak out against the dangers inherent in nuclear weapons in order to bring about change in the world.”

“As the only country to have suffered atomic bombings, it is Japan’s unchanging mission to lead the efforts of the international community, step by step, toward the realization of a world free of nuclear arms,” Suga told the participants who included survivors and families of victims of the nuclear bombing.


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