August 07, 2003

Hiroshima Mayor Lashes Out at Bush on Atomic Bombing Anniversary

The populace and resources of the US are in greater
danger today than prior to 9/11 because of the damage
the _resident and his neo-con wet dreamers have done
to world stability, the Middle East peace process,
etc. The populace and resources of the US are aso in
greater danger today than prior to 9/11 because of
what the _resident and his cabal have failed to do on
the Homeland Security front. The atmosphere they have
created with the tearing up of treaties, the thumbing
of their noses at the international community, the
mishandling of the Korean penninsula, etc. is one of
unprecendeted volatility and chaos. It will only get
worse until they are removed from office in the 2004
election...Here is another name to scrawl on the John
O'Neil Wall of Heroes, Mayor Akiba of Hiroshima...

Published on Wednesday, August 6, 2003 by the Agence
France Presse
Hiroshima Mayor Lashes Out at Bush on Atomic Bombing Anniversary

HIROSHIMA, Japan - Hiroshima's mayor lashed out at the
United States' nuclear weapons policy during
ceremonies marking the 58th anniversary of the city's
atomic bombing, which caused the deaths of over
230,000 people.

Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba said the United States
worshipped nuclear weapons as "God" and blamed it for
jeopardizing the global nuclear non-proliferation

Demonstrators stage a 'die-in' before the gutted
A-bomb dome on the hour at which the atomic bomb was
dropped over Hiroshima August 6, 2003, the 58th
anniversary of the nuclear inferno. In an annual
ritual of remembrance for the more than 230,000 people
who ultimately died from the blast, thousands gathered
to pray at Peace Memorial Park, close to ground zero.
(Kyodo via Reuters)

"The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the central
international agreement guiding the elimination of
nuclear weapons, is on the verge of collapse," Akiba
said Wednesday in an address to some 40,000 people.
"The chief cause is US nuclear policy that, by openly
declaring the possibility of a pre-emptive nuclear
first strike and calling for resumed research into
mini-nukes and other so-called 'useable nuclear
weapons,' appears to worship nuclear weapons as God,"
he said.

The mayor also slammed as unjust the US-led war on
Iraq, which he blamed for killing innocent civilians.
"The weapons of mass destruction that served as the
excuse for the war have yet to be found," he said.

Akiba strongly urged US President George W. Bush and
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il to personally visit
Hiroshima and "confront the reality of nuclear war".

As the clock clicked onto 8:15 am (2315 GMT Tuesday),
the exact time the United States dropped the bomb on
August 6, 1945, those at the ceremony at Hiroshima's
Peace Memorial Park bowed their heads for a minute's
silence in memory of the victims of the attack.

During the 45-minute ceremony, officials added 5,050
names to the register of victims who died immediately
or from the after-effects of radiation exposure in the
bombing, bringing the total toll to 231,920, an
official said.

The Hiroshima bombing was followed by the dropping of
a second atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki on August
9, 1945, which killed another estimated 74,000 people.

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi told the service that
Japan would stick by its pacifist constitution and its
non-nuclear principles because the tragedies of
Hiroshima and Nagasaki "can never be repeated."

This year's ceremony came ahead of six-nation talks
over North Korea's nuclear weapons development
program, which Pyongyang agreed to last week.

Koizumi told reporters after the ceremony that North
Korea's abduction of Japanese nationals would be a
high priority at the talks.

"At the six-nation talks, obviously, nuclear weapons
will be the focus, but for Japan, the abduction issue
is just as important," he said.

"We will naturally have close cooperation with the
United States and South Korea, but we must make
efforts to have China and Russia understand our
position as well," he said.

Last week, North Korea said it would accept six-way
talks to include North and South Korea, Russia, Japan,
China and the United States to end the nuclear crisis
that began in October last year.

Washington had accused the Stalinist state of reneging
on a 1994 bilateral nuclear freeze accord by running a
clandestine nuclear program based on enriched uranium.

Copyright 2003 AFP

Posted by richard at August 7, 2003 09:32 AM