Japan has marked the 69th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city of Nagasaki by the United States in 1945.
A ceremony commemorating the victims of the US nuclear attack was held in Nagasaki’s Peace Park on Saturday.
The event was attended by the aging survivors of the bombing, relatives of the victims and high-ranking Japanese officials.
In a speech at the ceremony, Nagasaki Mayor pledged the city’s continued push for the elimination of nuclear weapons. He also criticized nuclear states for failing to disarm.
Taue further urged the administration of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to address growing public concerns over Tokyo’s security policy.
The remarks came a month after the Japanese cabinet approved a reinterpretation of the country’s constitution that allows the military to help defend allies and others “in a close relationship” with Japan under what is known as “collective self-defense.”
The mayor said “the rushed debate over collective self-defence has given rise to the concern that this principle (Japan’s renunciation to war) is wavering.”
The US attack on Nagasaki, which killed over 70,000 people in the final stages of the World War II, happened three days after Washington’s atomic bombing of the city of Hiroshima, where over 140,000 Japanese died.
The United States possesses the largest stockpile of active nuclear warheads in the world and is the only country to have ever used nuclear weapons against another nation.
Based on figures released by the Federation of Atomic Scientists (FAS) earlier in January, the United States currently holds a stockpile of 4,650 nuclear warheads, 2,130 of which are operational. In addition, Washington has 2,700 retired nuclear warheads that are yet to be dismantled.