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.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

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

Celebrate love, strengthen partnerships to end AIDS epidemic by 2030 says UN agency

Sweden’s forests have doubled in size over the last 100 years

Chile ups foreign bribery enforcement but flawed case resolutions are insufficient to ensure transparency and accountability

More people now plan to get a COVID-19 vaccine than in December

This Latin American country is keeping COVID-19 firmly under control. How?

Wednesday’s Daily Brief: Sudan, Libya, Yemen updates, solutions for e-waste, flood response in Iran, online security for children

Main results of EU-Japan summit: Tokyo, 17/07/2018

3 reasons why responsibly-deployed technology is key to the COVID recovery

LGBTQ+ inclusion on the other side of the screen

Can we prevent a surge in pandemic-related homelessness?

EU reconfirms support for Afghanistan at 2020 Geneva Conference

Timor-Leste Foreign Minister highlights value of UN in resolving conflicts

Fostering defence innovation through the European Defence Fund

China is a renewable energy champion. But it’s time for a new approach

Financial inclusion in India is soaring. Here’s what must happen next

Horn of Africa: UN chief welcomes Djibouti agreement between Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia

A clean energy future with hydrogen could be closer than we think

Draghi cuts the Gordian knot of the Banking Union

This Canadian start-up turns millions of chopsticks into sustainable furniture

COVID-19 is challenging the way we think of chemical industry trends. This is how

Across the world, women outlive men. This is why

These 3 countries are global offshore wind powerhouses

Brexit talks: 2nd round fails to bring the EU and the UK closer on key issues

The EU invites the US and Russia to partition Ukraine

What happens when the Eurogroup decides to help Greece

EU announces record €550 million contribution to save 16 million lives from AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria

European Banking Union: no one is perfect

European Defence Fund on track with €525 million for Eurodrone and other joint research and industrial projects

Africa’s future is innovation rather than industrialization

Violence will not deter Somali people in their pursuit of peace, says UN chief, in wake of lethal attacks

EU Budget 2019 to focus on young people

Armed groups kill Ebola health workers in eastern DR Congo

Economic policy priorities for a post-pandemic recovery

What brands get wrong about China – and how to put it right

China, forever new adventures

New rules to help consumers join forces to seek compensation

4 ways to build businesses that work for good, right now

‘Catastrophic’ healthcare costs put mothers and newborns at risk

Mobile 360 Series – Russia & CIS: Empowering the Digital Economy

These tech start-ups are changing what it means to farm

Insecurity and violence turn Nigeria into a ‘pressure cooker’ that must be addressed, says UN rights expert

UN relief official in Yemen condemns ‘horrific’ attack on passenger buses

How Cameron unwillingly helped Eurozone reunite; the long-term repercussions of two European Council decisions

European Commission authorises third safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19

European Youth Forum on Summit on Jobs and Growth

Escalation in Syria fighting cause for ‘great concern’ says UN chief, dozens more civilians dead or injured

Taxes on polluting fuels are too low to encourage a shift to low-carbon alternatives

AI-assisted recruitment is biased. Here’s how to make it more fair

Measles claims more than twice as many lives than Ebola in DR Congo

Technology can hinder good mental health at work. Here’s how it can help

Facebook: MEPs demand a full audit by EU bodies to assess data protection

More women than ever are working in Hollywood, but men still dominate key roles

Japanese law professor elected new judge at the International Court of Justice

G7: A serious setback hardly avoided in iconic Biarritz

German elections: Is Merkel losing ground or Shultz is winning?

EU-UK relations: MEPs approve rules to ensure Eurotunnel safety and cooperation

Facebook/Cambridge Analytica: MEPs pursue personal data breaches probe

Commission extends transparency and authorisation mechanism for exports of COVID-19 vaccines

Hostages to a rampant banking system

CHALLENGING THE ZEITGEIST OF DIGITAL – Change making projects innovate mobile support for refugees, inclusive environments, early breast cancer detection and more

More Stings?

Advertising

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