Hiroshima Day 2022: Every year August 6 is observed as Hiroshima Day to commemorate the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945, at the end of World War II. This year it marks the 77th anniversary of the atomic attack. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday attended the annual ceremony at the Peace Memorial Park in Japan.
This was the biggest attack in the history of Japan. An estimated 80,000 people died instantly from the blast, while the effects of radiation killed tens of thousands more within the months and years that followed.
On 6 and 9 August 1945, the United States detonated two atomic bombs over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively. It dropped a second bomb three days later on Nagasaki, killing another 70,000. Japan surrendered on Aug. 15, ending World War II and Japan’s nearly half-century of aggression in Asia.
Many survivors of the bombings have lasting injuries and illnesses resulting from the explosions and radiation exposure and face discrimination in Japanese society.
The government began to provide medical support to certified survivors in 1968 after more than 20 years of effort by them.
As of March, 127,755 survivors, whose average age is now almost 84, are certified as hibakusha and eligible for government medical support, according to the health and welfare ministry.
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons took effect in January 2021 after years of civil effort joined by atomic bombing survivors or hibakusha. But while more than 50 countries have ratified it, the treaty notably lacks the US and other nuclear powers as well as Japan, which has relied on the US nuclear umbrella for its defense since the war’s end.
Though Japan recovered from the attack and has since flourished, the shadow of a nuclear war continues to haunt it. Russia’s attack on Ukraine, attacks by the Islamic State, and China’s growing territorial aggression have raised fears about a possible World War III. Hiroshima Day is a plea of peace to all world powers to prevent such horrors from ever repeating.