15000 nuclear weapons, 1945, atomic bomb, atomic bombings, black rain, bombing of Nagasaki, dangers of nuclear, Fukushima, Hibakusha, Hiroshima, Japan, Mayor of Nagasaki, medical treatment, Nagasaki, Nagasaki Roman Catholic Church, Nagasaki water, Nishiyama reservoir, nuclear, nuclear bomb, nuclear disarmament, Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), nuclear weapons, Pacific Theatre, Pearl Harbor, plutonium, Roman Catholic, Second World War, Sumiteru Taniguchi, Tomihisa Taue, Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, United Nations, USA, water, World War II
Sumiteru Taniguchi’s back injuries from Nagasaki bombing, January 1946, by USMC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumiteru_Taniguchi
“This, we will certainly never forget: the fact that at 11:02 a.m. on August 9, 1945, an atomic bomb exploded in the air right above the hill where we are now assembled, killing and injuring 150,000 people…. Unable to obtain adequate medical treatment many of these people fell dead, one by one. Even now, 72 years after that day, the damage resulting from radiation exposure continues to ravage the bodies of the surviving hibakusha. Not only did the atomic bomb indiscriminately steal the lives of beloved family members and friends who had always been at each other’s side, it then went on to hideously devastate the subsequent lives of those who survived.” Tomihisa Taue, Mayor of Nagasaki August 9, 2017, emphasis our own.
“The use of [the atomic bombs] at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons…” Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, Chief of Staff to President Truman, 1950, emphasis our own.
“Full Text: Nagasaki Mayor’s Statement on Anniversary of Bombing that Should Shame World Leaders and Shinzo Abe AUGUST 9, 2017
A very strong statement made by Nagasaki Mayor on the anniversary of the bombing:
“No more hibakusha”
These words express the heartfelt wish of the hibakusha that in the future nobody in the world ever again has to experience the disastrous damage caused by nuclear weapons. This summer, the wish has moved many nations across the globe and resulted in the creation of a certain treaty.
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which of course prohibits the use of nuclear weapons, and furthermore their possession or deployment, was adopted this July by 122 nations, a figure representing more than 60% of the United Nations’ member states. This was a moment when all the efforts of the hibakusha over the years finally took shape.
I would like to call this treaty, which mentions the suffering and struggles of the hibakusha, “The Hiroshima‐Nagasaki Treaty.”
I would also like to express our profoundest gratitude to all of the nations that promote this treaty, the United Nations, NGOs and others who have acted with such vigorous determination and courage to rid the world of weapons that go against the spirit of humanity.
However, this is not our final goal.
There are still around 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world. The international situation surrounding nuclear weapons is becoming increasingly tense.
A strong sense of anxiety is spreading across the globe that in the not too distant future these weapons could actually be used again.
Moreover, the nuclear-armed states are opposed to this treaty and there is no end in sight to the road towards “a world free of nuclear weapons,” the realization of which is our objective. The human race is now faced with the question of how this long awaited treaty can be utilized to make further progress.
I hereby make the following appeal to the nuclear-armed states and the nations under their nuclear umbrella. The nuclear threat will not end as long as nations continue to claim that nuclear weapons are essential for their national security. Please reconsider your policies of seeking to protect your nations through nuclear weapons. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) obligates all its member states to achieve nuclear disarmament. Please fulfill this obligation. The whole world awaits your courageous decisions.
To the Japanese government I have this appeal to make. Despite the fact that the Japanese government has clearly stated that it will exercise leadership in aiming for a world free of nuclear weapons, and play a role as a bridge between the nuclear-armed states and the non-nuclear-armed states, its stance of not even participating in the diplomatic negotiations for the Nuclear Prohibition Treaty is quite incomprehensible to those of us living in the cities that suffered atomic bombings. As the only country in the world to have suffered wartime atomic bombings, I urge the Japanese government to reconsider the policy of relying on the nuclear umbrella and join the Nuclear Prohibition Treaty at the earliest possible opportunity. International society is awaiting the participation of Japan.
Furthermore, I ask the Japanese government to affirm to the world its commitment to the pacifist ethos of the Constitution of Japan, which firmly renounces war, and its strict observance of the Three Non-Nuclear Principles. As a specific policy representing a step forward towards a world free of nuclear weapons, it should act now by examining the concept of a “Northeast Asia Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone.”
This, we will certainly never forget: the fact that at 11:02 a.m. on August 9, 1945, an atomic bomb exploded in the air right above the hill where we are now assembled, killing and injuring 150,000 people.
On that day, the furious blast and heat rays reduced the city of Nagasaki to a charred expanse of land. People whose skin hung down in strips staggered around the ruined city looking for their families. A dumbfounded mother stood beside her child who had been burnt black. Every corner of the city was like a landscape from hell.
Unable to obtain adequate medical treatment many of these people fell dead, one by one.
Even now, 72 years after that day, the damage resulting from radiation exposure continues to ravage the bodies of the surviving hibakusha.
Not only did the atomic bomb indiscriminately steal the lives of beloved family members and friends who had always been at each other’s side, it then went on to hideously devastate the subsequent lives of those who survived.
Leaders of all the nations of the world: please come and visit the atomic-bombed cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I want you to see what happened down here on the ground beneath the mushroom cloud, not from a perspective high above it; I want you all to see with your own eyes, hear with your own ears, and feel with your own hearts just how cruelly the atomic bomb trampled on the dignity of human beings. I want you to imagine how you would feel if your own family had been in Nagasaki on that day.
When people have experienced something painful and distressing they tend to lock up that memory in their hearts and are reluctant to talk about it. This is because talking about it entails being reminded of it. The fact that the hibakusha have continued to talk about their experiences while enduring physical and mental scars represents an act by individual members of humankind to protect our future by determining, to make the upmost efforts to spread their message.
I make this call to all the people of the world. The most frightening things are disinterest and the process of forgetting. Let us all pass on the baton of peace that we have received from the hibakusha and those who have experienced war, so it is seamlessly carried on into the future.
The 9th General Conference of Mayors for Peace is currently being held here in Nagasaki. Many representatives of towns and cities that have painful memories of war and civil strife participate in this network of 7,400 municipalities. In solidarity with our friends in Mayors for Peace, we will send out from Nagasaki to the world the message that with united efforts and unwavering commitment, even calls of peace from small cities can provide a strong impetus for global progress, just as the hibakusha have shown us.
“Nagasaki must be the last place to suffer an atomic bombing.” These are the words hibakusha have continuously repeated until their voices have become hoarse. We will prove that their words are a common wish and ambition of all mankind.
The average age of the hibakusha now exceeds 81 years. The “era in which the hibakusha are still with us” is drawing to an end. I strongly request that the Japanese government improves the assistance given to hibakusha, and provides relief to all those who experienced the atomic bombing.
Six years have elapsed since the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Accident. As a city that has experienced the threat of radiation, we stand with the victims in Fukushima Prefecture and offer them our support.
I hereby pay tribute to the memory of all those who lost their lives to the atomic bombing, and declare that we, the citizens of Nagasaki City, will join hands with all the people around the world who pray for a world free of nuclear weapons, and continue to tirelessly work towards the realization of the abolition of nuclear weapons and everlasting world peace.
Mayor of Nagasaki
August 9, 2017” http://www.dianuke.org/full-text-nagasaki-mayors-statement-anniversary-bombing-shame-world-leaders-shinzo-abe/ Emphasis added.
Declassified US Document about Nagasaki, Sept. 14, 1945, excerpt:
Red emphasis added. Original documents found here: http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB162/77b.pdf
Additional related commentary and documents found here: http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB162/
“Trump boasts of U.S. nuclear arsenal after ‘fire and fury’ warning to North Korea Posted:Wed, 09 Aug 2017 12:57:29 -0400
WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) – President Donald Trump followed up his incendiary warning to North Korea against threatening the United States with a boast on Wednesday about the strength of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, but expressed hope this power would never need to be used.” http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/Reuters/worldNews/~3/JXFTNuBeYiQ/us-northkorea-missiles-china-idUSKBN1AO011
The Urakami Roman Catholic Church, at the time the largest church in the east was destroyed by the nuclear bomb, which killed the worshippers within, as well as many others in Nagasaki.
Above: Urakami Cathedral after the nuclear bomb. US gov photo; color effect added. Below: Before the bomb.
“71 years later, today, people are still dying as a result of the delayed effect of radiation. Atomic bomb hospitals are full of those people“. (Setsuko Thurlow, May 27, 2016, DemocracyNow interview) https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2016/08/07/i-want-the-world-to-wake-up-hiroshima-survivor-criticizes-obama-for-pushing-new-nuclear-weapons/
Firebombings of cities was also terrible, but lacked the long-lived nature of the atomic bombs: Radioactive “black rain” from the Nagasaki bomb fell into the Nishiyama reservoir near the city and plutonium still remains. See too: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2016/08/10/nuclear-bombing-of-nagasaki-impact-declassified-september-14-1945-2/
“You don’t know the horrible aspects of war… I’ve seen cities and homes in ashes. I’ve seen thousands of men lying on the ground, their dead faces looking up at the skies. I tell you, war is Hell!” US General Sherman: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/William_Tecumseh_Sherman But, the hell of nuclear is eternal and will persist longer than humanity has existed.
Former General, then President Eisenhower wrote in his memoir:
“In 1945 Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act. During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives.”
“Other U.S. military officers who disagreed with the necessity of the bombings include General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy (the Chief of Staff to the President), Brigadier General Carter Clarke (the military intelligence officer who prepared intercepted Japanese cables for U.S. officials), Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz(Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet), Fleet Admiral William Halsey, Jr. (Commander of the US Third Fleet), and even the man in charge of all strategic air operations against the Japanese home islands, then-Major General Curtis LeMay”
“The Japanese had, in fact, already sued for peace. The atomic bomb played no decisive part, from a purely military point of view, in the defeat of Japan. — Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet,
The use of [the atomic bombs] at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons … The lethal possibilities of atomic warfare in the future are frightening. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children. — Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, Chief of Staff to President Truman, 1950,
The atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the war at all. — Major General Curtis LeMay, XXI Bomber Command, September 1945,
The first atomic bomb was an unnecessary experiment … It was a mistake to ever drop it … [the scientists] had this toy and they wanted to try it out, so they dropped it … — Fleet Admiral William Halsey, Jr., 1964” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debate_over_the_atomic_bombings_of_Hiroshima_and_Nagasaki#Opposition Emphasis our own. [Many scientists opposed too, to no avail.] Reference sources in wikipedia article include: Eisenhower, Dwight D. (1963). “The White House Years; Mandate For Change: 1953–1956“. New York, NY: Doubleday & Company. pp. 312–3; Freeman, Robert (6 August 2005). “Was the Atomic Bombing of Japan Necessary?“. CommonDreams.org. http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0806-25.htm ; “Leahy, William D. (1950). I was there“. New York, NY: McGraw Hill Book Company, p. 441; Gar Alperovitz (6 August 2015). “The War Was Won Before Hiroshima—And the Generals Who Dropped the Bomb Knew It“, The Nation.