BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT THE BOMB
On August 6, 1945, the world dramatically entered the atomic age: without either warning or precedent, an American plane dropped a single nuclear bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The explosion utterly destroyed more than four square miles of the city center. About 90,000 people were killed immediately; another 40,000 were injured, many of whom died in protracted agony from radiation sickness. Three days later, a second atomic strike on the city of Nagasaki killed some 37,000 people and injured another 43,000. Together the two bombs eventually killed an estimated 200,000 Japanese civilians. The Journal of Historical Review 1997.
August 6 and 9 2014 saw the 69th Anniversary of Atomic bombing of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This event was the opening chapter on the nuclear age and the threat of nuclear weapons worldwide. Under the slogan ï¿½Hiroshima never againï¿½ the Sydney Hiroshima Day Committee has campaigned for nuclear weapons to made illegal and to be never again used or threatened to be used. The need is just as great now as ever it was.
British government officials approached nuclear companies to draw up a co-ordinated public relations strategy to play down the Fukushima nuclear accident just two days after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and before the extent of the radiation leak was known. Guardian. 30 June 2011
At 1:45 a.m. on August 6, 1945, a US B-29 bomber, named Enola Gay , took off from Tinian Island in the Mariana Islands. It carried the world’s second atomic bomb, the first having been detonated three weeks earlier at a US test site in Alamogordo, New Mexico.
Hiroshima raises many profound questions about how the Twentieth Century will be remembered: Who defines world culture? How do we treat our cultural heritage? Who remembers what, and for which purpose?
Every five years the parties to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty meet in a review conference to further the non-proliferation and disarmament goals of the treaty. This year the conference ended in a spectacular failure with no final document and no agreement on moving forward. For the first ten days of the conference, the US resisted agreement on an agenda that made any reference to past commitments.
Taniguchi Sumiteru, now in his mid-70s, is a hibakusha. He is also a leader of a survivors’ organisation in Nagasaki. During a session this month at the United Nations sponsored by the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers’ Organisations, he spoke of his own experience and his desire for peace. His testimony is reprinted here.
Hiroshima after the bomb – 360 degree panorama