IMPHAL, Aug 6: The Indo-Japan Friendship Association, Manipur today observed the 67th Hiroshima Day at the Manipur Press Club.
The observation was attended by PHED Minister I Hemochandra Singh, IJFA president, W Bhumeshwar and Imphal Municipal Council Chairperson, N Raghumani Singh as the chief guest, president and guest of honour, respectively.
Speaking at the observation, the PHED Minister paid solidarity to the sufferings of the Hiroshima and Nagasakhi and said several wars have been fought, but the suffering of Japan has not been felt anywhere else.
He also acknowledged the Mayors of Peace for its effort in trying to make the world an Atomic weapon free place. He also expressed his desire for the observation to be made bigger next year.
Meanwhile, during the observation, IJFA founder secretary Ph Nandakumar read out the Peace Declaration, 2012 from the Mayor of Hiroshima and the president of Mayors for Peace, Matsui Kazumi.
The president of the Mayors for Peace recounted the scene of the day when the atomic bomb was dropped at the Japanese city.
The message said, “8:15 am, August 6, 1945 our hometown was reduced to ashes by a single atomic bomb. The houses we came home to, our everyday lives, the customs we cherished-all were gone”.
“Hiroshima was no more, the city had vanished. No roads, just a burnt plain of rubble as far as I could see, and sadly, I could see too far. I followed electric lines that had fallen along what I took to be tram rails. The tram street was hot. Death was all around.”
“That was our city, as seen by a young woman of twenty. That was Hiroshima for all the survivors. The exciting festivals, the playing in boats, the fishing and clamming, the children catching long-armed shrimp-e-a way of life had disappeared from our beloved rivers.”
“Worse yet, the bomb snuffed out the sacred lives of so many human beings: “I rode in a truck with a civil defense team to pick up corpses. 1 was just a boy, so they told me to grab the ankles. I did, but the skin slipped right off. I couldn`t hold on. I steeled myself, squeezed hard with my fingertips, and the flesh started oozing. A terrible stench, I gripped right down to the bone. With a `one-two-three,` we tossed them into the truck.”
While recounting many such experiences of the victims of the powerful bomb, the peace declaration from the Mayor urged, “People of the world! Especially leaders of nuclear-armed nations, please come to Hiroshima to contemplate peace in this A-bombed city”.
“This year, Mayors for Peace marked its 30th anniversary”, the message said.
“The number of cities calling for the total abolition of nuclear weapons by 2020 has passed 5,300, and our members now represent approximately a billion people. Next August, we will hold a Mayors for Peace general conference in Hiroshima. That event will convey to the world the intense desire of the overwhelming majority of our citizens for a nuclear weapons convention and elimination of nuclear weapons”.
“The following spring, Hiroshima will host a ministerial meeting of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative comprising ten non-nuclear-weapon states, including Japan”.
“I firmly believe that the demand for freedom frorn nuclear weapons will soon spread out from Hiroshima, encircle the globe, and lead us to genuine world peace.”
“March 11,2011, is a day we will never forget, A natural disaster compounded by a nuclear power accident created an unprecedented catastrophe. Here in Hiroshima, we are keenly aware that the survivors of that catastrophe still suffer terribly, yet look toward the future with hope.”
We see their ordeal clearly superimposed on what we endured 67 years ago. I speak now to all in the stricken areas. Please hold fast to your hope for tomorrow. Your day will arrive, absolutely. Our hearts are with you.
Having learned a lesson from that terrific accident, Japan is now engaged in a national debate over its energy policy, with some voices insisting, “Nuclear energy and humankind cannot coexist.”
“I call on the Japanese government to establish without delay an energy policy that guards the safety and security of the people. I ask the government of the only country to experience an atomic bombing to accept as its own the resolve of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”
“Once again, we offer our heartfelt prayers for the peaceful repose of the atomic bomb victims. From our base here in Hiroshima, we pledge to convey to the world the experience and desire of our hibakusha, and do everything in our power to achieve the genuine peace of a world without nuclear weapons.”
Meanwhile, prizes of the Hiroshima Children’s Peace Drawing Competition were also distributed during the observation.