In Japan and throughout the world, politicians, physicists and peace activists are remembering the use of the world’s first atomic bomb 67 years ago Monday. Recent developments have infused new energy into the annual commemoration.
On the morning of Aug. 6, 1945, the United States dropped its powerful secret weapon on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The blast instantly killed 70,000 people; many more subsequently died from radiation sickness.
That bombing and another on Nagasaki three days later hastened Japan’s surrender in World War II. Every anniversary since, that country has urged the world to abandon the use of nuclear weapons.
During the weekend, people in the Southland commemorated the bombings with a prayer service at a Buddhist temple in Little Tokyo and a Physicians for Social Responsibility event in Ventura. This week, anti-nuclear and Occupy activists also plan gatherings and protests that link the use of atomic weapons with the dangers posed by last year’s Fukushima nuclear power plant catastrophe in Japan.