Australian news, and some related international items

Nagasaki joins the call for end to nuclear power

Nagasaki mayor calls for denuclearization, by Kenichi Ezaki and Yuji Endo. 10 Aug 11 NAGASAKI–The mayor of Nagasaki called for Japan to move away from nuclear power generation at a ceremony on Aug. 9 to commemorate the 66th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki.

Speaking after a moment’s silence at 11:02 a.m., the exact moment when the atomic bomb was detonated in 1945, Tomihisa Taue told 6,000 participants in the ceremony at Nagasaki Peace Park that Japan should never have another hibakusha, or nuclear victim.

“As a people of a nation that has experienced nuclear devastation, we pleaded that there should be ‘No more hibakusha.’ How has it come about that we are threatened once again by the fear of radiation?”

Taue said he had wrestled with the issue of abandoning nuclear energy since the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant this March. He worried about the effects of denuclearization on industry and peoples’ lives. However, after discussions within a committee of scholars and hibakusha involved in drafting his “peace declaration” to the ceremony, he backed the call for developing renewable energy sources “in place of nuclear energy.”…

Taue also called for the elimination of nuclear weapons and the establishment of a nuclear weapon-free zone in Northeast Asia.

In his speech, Prime Minister Naoto Kan said: “We will seek to reduce our dependence on nuclear energy in trying to create a society that does not depend on nuclear power plants.”

The mayor of Fukushima city, Takanori Seto, and 43 junior high students from Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, were present. James Zumwalt, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, became the first official representative of the United States government ever to attend the Nagasaki ceremony.

Officials from three other nuclear powers–Britain, France and Russia–were among representatives from 44 nations and the European Union, the largest diplomatic presence ever.

Over the past year, 3,288 people died from conditions connected to the atomic bombing, bringing the total number of deaths from the 1945 bomb to 155,546.

A representative of the hibakusha, Hisao Matsuo, 83, said he wanted to pass on the voices of all those who had died….


August 11, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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