Let Nagasaki remain ‘the last city’ to suffer nuclear devastation says museum director, as UN chief arrives

UN Photo/Yosuke Yamahata
The smoldering ruins of Nagasaki, about 700 metres from the hypocentre of the explosion, as seen on 10 August 1945.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

It’s essential that Nagasaki’s devastation should “not be forgotten” now or in the future, if the threat of nuclear war is to be lifted, said the Director of the Japanese city’s Atomic Bomb Museum, ahead of a visit there on Thursday by the UN Secretary-General.

António Guterres was in Tokyo on Wednesday where he held talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before traveling west to to meet with the Mayor of Nagasaki and participate in the 73rd Nagasaki Peace Ceremony.

The number of survivors of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – or hibakusha as they are known in Japanese, is decreasing each year.

Japan’s health ministry says that as of last March, only 155,000 survivors remain, with 90,000 having died over the past decade. Moreover, the number of survivors directly exposed to radiation in the cities and their surrounding areas, has dipped below 100,000 for the first time, with the average age being 82 years old.

Before the commemoration, Akitoshi Nakamura, Director of Atomic Bomb Museum spoke to UN News.

Having started working at the Museum 60 years after the second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, just three days after Hiroshima, Mr. Nakamura enthusiastically shared the citizens “high hopes” as they “eagerly” await Mr. Guterres’ arrival.

“We are, from the bottom of our hearts, welcoming the SG’s visit here,” he asserted.

Laying out plans for the Secretary-General’s visit, Mr. Nakamura shared his hopes that the UN chief would join local children in making origami cranes, a symbol of peace, before touring the museum where highlights include a clock that stopped at 11:02 am, when the bomb was dropped; documents charting the catastrophe after the bombing; and the broken belfry dome of the Urakami Cathedral.

“We would like him to see those,” said the curator. “But more than anything, we would like him to see the photos of hibakusha.”

“What is most horrific is the effect of nuclear radiation, so we would like him to see the documents and panels that show the effects of nuclear radiation on health,” Mr. Nakamura elaborated.

The museum traces the catastrophe that unfolded after the bomb.

“We want people to see what a horrific weapon an atomic bomb is, and the kind of devastation over 14,000 nuclear weapons around the world can bring,” Mr. Nakamura stressed, explaining the museum’s aim to eliminate stockpiles of nuclear weapons, by illustrating the horrors they inflict.

“The two atomic bomb museums, in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, are about something that happened in the past, but they also are important in the sense that they trigger an awareness of the danger that nuclear weapons may cause in the future,” he said.

After 73 years, Mr. Nakamura does not want the experiences of the dwindling number of survivors to be forgotten along with them.

Calling it “the most important thing,” he said that “the museums continue telling the story of what happened at the time, in order for it to not be forgotten.”

Hiroshima was the first city to be devastated by an atomic bomb, on 6 August, 1945, and for the time being at least, Nagasaki is the last. With that distinction, Mr. Nakamura spells out “it’s very important to prevent another exposure to an atomic bomb.”

“We, the citizens of Nagasaki, have been appealing to the world to make Nagasaki the last city devastated by an atomic bomb,” he said.

As hibakusha numbers decline, education that carries on their voices becomes ever more important.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

EU-US trade deal: Europe to Americanize its social model?

Switzerland to favour EU citizens in immigration quotas as the risk of a new referendum looms

Why climate change matters for future health professionals

GSMA Outlines New Developments For MWC19 Shanghai

Angola’s President João Lourenço calls for stronger EU-Africa cooperation

Sweden has invented a word to encourage people not to fly. And it’s working

EU Budgets: Europe hoping for Xmas gifts

How banks should prepare for robots going rogue

Electronic cigarette – is it really a safer alternative to smoking?

These countries are leading the charge to clean energy

End fossil fuel subsidies, and stop using taxpayers’ money to destroy the world: Guterres

Amid continued suffering in Yemen, UN envoy welcomes reports of reduced violence

Here are three ways Africa’s youth are defeating corruption

The psychology of pandemics

Syrian Government’s ‘different understanding’ of UN role, a ‘very serious challenge’ – Special Envoy

Talent is worldwide. Opportunity is not. How can we redistribute it?

The 10 most common types of plastic choking Europe’s rivers

Is China about to launch its own cryptocurrency?

Doctors vs. Industry 4.0: who will win?

Employment and Social Developments in Europe: 2018 review confirms positive trends but highlights challenges, in particular linked to automation and digitalisation

It’s not your imagination, summers are getting hotter

Killing of Egyptian peacekeeper in Mali ‘may constitute war crimes’ Guterres warns, urging ‘swift action’

Spanish vote – bad luck for Greece: Does Iphigenia need to be sacrificed for favourable winds to blow in Eurozone?

‘Historic moment’ for people on the move, as UN agrees first-ever Global Compact on migration

Europe must regain its place as world leader in digital technology

These companies can recycle nearly anything, from cigarette butts to fax machines

Arrest of three Libyans wanted for grave crimes ‘would send strong and necessary message’ to victims, urges top Prosecutor

What does strategy have to do with a platform approach?

Guatemala Dos Erres massacre conviction welcomed by UN human rights office

Skeptic France about Trump-Juncker trade deal favoring German cars; EU’s unity in peril

This plastic-free bag dissolves in water

Why strive for Industry 4.0

Is Erdogan ready to tear down the bridges with Europe and the West?

Parliament adopts its position on digital copyright rules

Inclusion and diversity isn’t just good for employees – it’s good for the bottom line

China by numbers: 10 facts to help you understand the superpower today

The Indian case: health policies need to keep pace with public health literacy

Eurozone: Sovereign debt decreases for the first time since 2007

This solar-powered car lets you drive for free

‘Comprehensively include migrants’ or sustainable development won’t happen, warns General Assembly President

One in three fish caught never gets eaten

The US calls off globalization, targets Germany. Paris offer to Berlin comes at a cost

Nicaragua must end ‘witch-hunt’ against dissenting voices – UN human rights experts

‘InvestEU’ programme: big boost for jobs, growth and investment

The future of science could be in your gut. Here’s why

Access to health in the developped and developing world

Mosul’s ‘3D contamination’ adds to challenges of deadly mine clearance work

Parliament to ask for the suspension of EU-US deal on bank data

How did Facebook fool the Commission that easily during the WhatsApp acquisition?

Peru should help more young vulnerable people into work

Traditional finance is failing millennials. Here’s how investing needs to change

G7 summit: Trump Vs. G6 leaders on trade and climate change

Security Council approves ‘historic’ political Haiti mission, ending UN peacekeeping role in the country

A Sting Exclusive: Towards better business opportunities for the EU and its neighbours, Commissioner Hahn live from European Business Summit 2015

Unanswered questions for Europe’s youth in President Juncker’s State of Union

Vegans in France are using extreme tactics to stop people eating meat

The Eurogroup+ is born to govern the EU Banking Union

This project is turning abandoned fishing gear into volleyball nets

Deep fakes could threaten democracy. What are they and what can be done?

IMF’s Lagarde: Estimating Cyber Risk for the Financial Sector

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s