Prime Minister Kishida Honors Anniversary Of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Bombings With Plea For Nuclear Disarmament
J Pop Exchange Logo Sakura Heading Photo

Prime Minister Kishida Honors Anniversary Of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Bombings With Plea For Nuclear Disarmament

By Molly Kaiser for The J-Pop Exchange

August 6th and 9th marked the 78th anniversaries of the bombings Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively, and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida marked the occasion with a renewed call for nuclear disarmament globally.

"Devastation brought to Hiroshima and Nagasaki by nuclear weapons can never be repeated," Kishida, who’s family is from Hiroshima, said at a ceremony in the city.

The two atomic bombings by the United States in August 1945 killed between 129,000 and 226,000 people in all. The tragic event is still the sole detonation of atomic bombs in an armed conflict, in history. Japan surrendered on August 15, ending World War II.

According to Reuters, at the G7 Summit hosted by Kishida in May, leaders put forth a statement “expressing their commitment to achieving disarmament, but said that as long as nuclear weapons existed, they should serve to deter aggression and prevent war.”

The Mayor of Hiroshima fired back at this notion at the ceremony in early August, calling the nuclear deterrence theory a “folly,” and urged world leaders to rethink their position amid heightened threats of nuclear aggression.

One such threat is Russia, as their invasion of Ukraine enters its second year. Many fear that the country will resume nuclear testing to discourage Western support of Ukraine in the war. Earlier this week, a New York Times investigation found that satellite images and aviation data from above the Russian arctic suggests Russia is planning to test–or may have recently tested–a nuclear-powered cruise missile with a range of thousands of miles.

At the forefront of cultural conversation recently was the release of the movie “Oppenheimer,” a biopic about “the father of the atomic bomb” American physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer.

The movie was met with criticism in Japan due to its lack of acknowledgement for the destruction caused by the advent of the bomb and for “celebrating” its founder. Keiko Tsuyama, a journalist who covered the aftermath of the bombing in Nagasaki for Kyoto News, told Axios the film doesn’t truly show “what happened under the mushroom cloud.”

People also found the pop culture craze surrounding “Barbenheimer,” and memes created using imagery of the infamous mushroom cloud highly insensitive. The movie does not have a theatrical release set in the country.


More articles:

Japan's Dual Citizenship Policy: Explained

Discovering Ikigai: The Japanese Formula For Longevity