News

    60th Anniversary of Hiroshima Bomb Comes at Watershed Time for Japan

    Multimedia

    Audio

    The Japanese city of Hiroshima is marking the 60th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city by a U.S. military aircraft in the closing days of World War II. More than 50,000 people attended a somber ceremony on Saturday, and, elsewhere in the city, international groups met to renew vows to eliminate all nuclear weapons.

    Thousands of elderly survivors of the bombing, joined by Japanese and foreign dignitaries, bowed their heads at 8:15 a.m. - the exact moment of the attack - offering silent prayers for world peace and for the souls of those who died in the atomic detonation.

    Cicadas buzzed amid wafting incense in the hot and humid air, as an additional 5,375 names were added to the Hiroshima Peace Park cenotaph, bringing the total number of those considered to have died as a result of exposure to the atomic blast to more than 242,000.

    Those who addressed the crowd at the hypocenter of the atomic explosion, repeated their annual vow of no more Hiroshimas.

    Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba, in his annual peace declaration, called on the United Nations to take specific steps to eliminate nuclear weapons by 2020. He criticized nuclear armed states - singling out the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan and North Korea by name - as jeopardizing human survival by ignoring the majority voices of the people and governments of the world, who, he said, want to eliminate such weapons.

    The mayor said Japan's pacifist constitution should be a guiding light for the 21st century. But many conservatives in Japan are pushing for that light to be switched to a different tint. They want to modify the American-imposed constitution, especially the article that forbids Japan from using military force to settle international disputes.

    Japan's move to the right is also reflected in comments by politicians and academics about whether Japan should possess its own nuclear weapons, a topic not long ago unthinkable in mainstream discussion.

    Earlier in the week, Japan's governing Liberal Democratic Party proposed that the country's military not be restricted to self defense, but also be allowed to join global security activities.

    Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is viewed by many in Hiroshima as a key proponent of a more hawkish Japan. His brief and subdued remarks to the A-bomb survivors were received with respectful, but brief applause.

    Mr. Koizumi said he offered heartfelt and deep prayers for those who died in the atomic bombing. The prime minister vowed that Japan would continue to be a leader against nuclear proliferation.

    Mr. Koizumi will repeat similar words in Nagasaki, where a plutonium bomb dropped by an American bomber on August 9, 1945, killed some 80,000 people. Japan surrendered the following week, bringing an end to the Second World War.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora