Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga apologized on Friday for skipping part of his speech in Hiroshima to mark the 76th anniversary of the atomic bombing carried out by the United States on August 6, 1945.
“In my speech earlier I skipped a part and I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for it. Please excuse me,” the prime minister said at a press conference held after the commemorative event.
According to local media, Suga skipped the commitment to “strive for a world without nuclear weapons”, as well as the recognition that Japan is the only nation in the world to be the victim of a nuclear attack, and only declared that “there are differences between the positions of each country on how to advance in nuclear disarmament “.
The newspaper The Mainichi shared the exact phrases that were part of the prime minister’s original speech that were omitted: “Our country is the only country that has been hit by an atomic bomb during the war and understands the inhumanity of nuclear weapons better than any other nation, and it is important to make constant efforts to achieve a world without nuclear weapons. “
The original version also contained the following excerpt, which Suga did not utter for the most part: “At the United Nations General Assembly, shortly after I became Prime Minister, I conveyed to the world the message that Hiroshima and Nagasaki they must never be repeated, and with this determination, Japan will spare no effort to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons, while firmly upholding the three anti-nuclear principles. “
Under the US nuclear ‘umbrella’, Japan refuses to sign the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in 2017. Along with the US, Russia, China, France, the UK and others countries, the Japanese authorities signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that entered into force in 1970.
In his speech, Suga did not refer to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, limiting himself to stating that the Japanese government would continue to strive to make the next NPT review conference fruitful and to find common ground between the countries.
For his part, the mayor of Hiroshima, Kazumi Matsui, used the ceremony of tribute to the victims of the nuclear attack to once again demand that the Government sign and ratify “immediately” the UN treaty, which entered into force in January this year.
“Nuclear weapons are the ultimate manifestation of human violence. If civil society decides to live without them, the door to a world free of nuclear weapons will open wide,” declared Mayor.
The UN Secretary General, António Guterres, was not present at the ceremony due to the pandemic, but express the same video message: “The only guarantee against the use of nuclear weapons is their total elimination.”
Brush up on your knowledge of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with a quiz we prepared last year for the 75th anniversary of the tragedy.