The mayor of Hiroshima, Japan warned Monday that a rising tide of nationalism is threatening world peace in a ceremony marking the 73rd anniversary of the atomic bombing of his city by the United States.
In his speech at Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park, Mayor Kazumi Matsui said certain nations were "rekindling tensions that had eased with the end of the Cold War," although he did not identify those nations. Matsui said these nations are "explicitly expressing self-centered nationalism" while modernizing their nuclear weapons.
But Matsui also called on Japan itself to take the lead in working towards eliminating nuclear weapons. Tokyo is under the protection of the U.S.'s so-called "nuclear umbrella" and is not a signatory of Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
The August 6, 1945 bombing of Hiroshima, which killed 170,000 people in the world's first use of atomic weapon, was followed three days later by the bombing of the city of Nagasaki, which killed more than 70,000 people, and led to Japan's unconditional surrender, ending World War II.
Also speaking at Monday's ceremony, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Japan will do more to bridge the widening gap between nuclear and non-nuclear nations, while reaffirming Tokyo's opposition to nuclear weapons.