Each year at this time I write about two historical events in 1945 that will never be forgotten – Hiroshima (August 6) and Nagasaki (August 9). Hiroshima today recognized The 73rd anniversary of the the nuclear attack on its city with the annual minute of silence and Peace Declaration speech by Mayor Kazumi Matsui. It is unfathomable that the world must continue to add to its ceremonial remembrances, year after year, pleas to the world’s leaders to abolish nuclear weapons once and for all. Despite all the events, photos, survivor and families of survivors stories, and health impacts we are still a world that lives in fear of nuclear war. The threat has not been reduced. It may likely be more of a threat than ever.
Mayor Matsui in his speech painted a picture of devastation by referencing theTrump administration and its increasing “self-centered nationalism” around the world, as well as the 14,000 nuclear warheads remaining across the globe. “The likelihood is growing that what we saw in Hiroshima after the explosion will return, by intent or accident, plunging people into agony.”
“What occurred in Hiroshima on 6 August 1945 cannot and must not ever happen again. The future of our children and of our children’s children depends upon it.” ~ Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was passed in July 2017, in a measure to work towards eliminating nuclear weapons. The agreement is legally binding to those signed on to it.
[The Treaty] prohibits nations from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, stockpiling, using or threatening to use nuclear weapons, or allowing nuclear weapons to be stationed on their territory. It also prohibits them from assisting, encouraging or inducing anyone to engage in any of these activities.
A nation that possesses nuclear weapons may join the treaty, so long as it agrees to destroy them in accordance with a legally binding, time-bound plan. Similarly, a nation that hosts another nation’s nuclear weapons on its territory may join, so long as it agrees to remove them by a specified deadline.
International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)
The Treaty will replace the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), therefore becoming international law, once 50 nation-states have signed on and ratified it. To date, 60 nations have signed the treaty but only 14 have ratified. Despite the June summit talks between the United States and North Korea, which resulted in a joint statement agreeing to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and eventual withdrawal of troops stationed in South Korea, among other measures, the United States has not signed on to or ratified the Treaty. And following a statement from Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that Japan will not join the nuclear ban treaty because “its approach is different from the Japanese government’s’, Atomic Bombs survivors groups are demanding that Japan sign on and ratify.
One year ago I wrote about Trump’s “Fire and Fury” with North Korea. I referred to statistics where1 in 5 people supported Trump’s threats of nuclear action against North Korea.
Part of the justification is over the belief that U.S. troops were in Japan two weeks following the horrific events of 1945 without suffering the effects of fallout. Therefore we would be “safe” from the effects of any military action involving nuclear weapons.
Questioning the intelligence of Trump supporters, I wrote that anyone who even has a cursory knowledge of the effects of nuclear fallout, including on those who were exposed during testing efforts at the Nevada Nuclear Test Site (which was renamed “Nevada National Security Site”) and downwind of the test site, not to mention the survivors of the devastation in 1945, are well aware of the effects of nuclear fallout.
Nuclear Devastation=World Health Crisis=Planetary Destruction.
I continue to say this: Nuclear weapons and nuclear war will always be a threat as long as there are nations that consider their arsenal necessary for national security. We must hold our leaders accountable to putting their words into actions. We as global citizens must do whatever it takes to make this happen. What are we doing in our daily lives to work towards that goal?
We must not let this happen again.