Genbaku Dome

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Genbaku Dome, the only building let standing after the nuclear bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. The building remains as it was found to this day, as a reminder of the destruction nuclear war is capable of creating.

Pope Francis remembers the nuclear bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and calls for disarmament.

On August 6 and 9, Japan remembers the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which essentially ended the Second World War. The atomic bomb used is considered the most powerful and destructive weapon mankind has ever built. Even decades after these tragedies, the survivors and residents are still suffering from the negative effects of the resulting radiation. In Hiroshima, the death toll reached a staggering 140,000 while in Nagasaki 70,000 lives perished during and after the bombing.

During an address on Sunday, August 9, Pope Francis also remembered the dual bombings and referred to the events as a “lasting warning to humanity.” The Pope says “It serves as a lasting warning to humanity so that it forever rejects war and bans nuclear weapons and all arms of mass destruction.” He added that “With war one always loses. The only way to win a war is never to wage it.”

The first Pope to have visited the formerly war torn Hiroshima City was Pope John Paul II 40 years after the tragedy. Francis on the other hand wants the anniversary to be remembered by promoting world peace and dialogue instead of resorting to war or violence.

Japan pushes for a nuclear-free world

The Japanese people headed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe honored and offered their condolences to those who perished and met with the elderly survivors. He also recognized the extreme hardships “beyond description” that the survivors and residents have to face after the bombings.

In his speech at the Nagasaki Peace Memorial Ceremony, Abe stressed that peace is now much more appreciated by the people. Being the only country in the world to become the victim of a nuclear attack, Abe cites that Japan is in the best position to lead the global efforts on nuclear disarmaments.

The Prime Minister mentioned the Japanese Government’s effort to submit a “new draft resolution on the total elimination of nuclear weapons to the United Nations General Assembly.” This is after the previously submitted draft resolution was not adopted for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

Hiroshima, Japan will also be the host of the 2016 G7 Summit and this year’s Group of Eminent Persons Meeting on the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) which he hopes will send powerful messages on the effects of atomic bombing to the international community.

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