AGENCY – Japan’s Nagasaki City commemorated the 77th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing on Tuesday, with the international community urging Japan to see itself not as merely a victim.
The annual ceremony on Tuesday allowed for more people to attend, owing to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions. Officials and dignitaries from more than 80 nations were represented at the ceremony, along with atomic bomb survivors and relatives of the victims who had gathered from early in the morning to offer prayers to the lives lost.
At 11:02 a.m. local time, a moment’s silence was observed by those attending the ceremony as this was the time when a U.S. B-29 bomber dropped a plutonium-core atomic bomb, nicknamed Fat Man, on Aug. 9, 1945, killing around 74,000 people in Nagasaki by the end of that year.
Over a one-year period through the end of July, Nagasaki confirmed the deaths of 3,160 atomic bomb survivors, with its list now officially recognizing 192,310 people as victims of the atomic bombing.
The atomic bombing of Nagasaki followed the one dropped on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, with both bombings a means of accelerating the end of World War II and forcing Japan to surrender.
While Japan inwardly looks at the tragedies it had experienced at the end of World War II, historians and political minds of the international community have encouraged Japan to come to see itself not as merely a victim of the atomic bombings but also as a perpetrators who led to these tragic incidents to happen in the first place.
Japan brutally occupied many parts of Asia before and during World War II, causing untold suffering and death to hundreds of thousands of innocent victims.