On 6 and 9 August 1945, the United States detonated two atomic bombs over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively.
It is estimated that the two bombings killed between 129,000 and 226,000 people, most of whom were civilians. For months afterward, many people continued to perish from the effects of burns, radiation sickness, and injuries, compounded by illness and malnutrition. As well, the loss of life from radiation-induced cancer occurred for decades afterwards.
This year marks the 77th anniversary of these bombings.
In Sydney, a coalition of anti-war groups commemorated the anniversary outside the Sydney Town Hall. The rally was addressed by Pastor Ray Minniecom, Gem Romuld from the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Greens Senator David Shoebridge and Nick Deane from the Sydney Anti-AUKUS Coalition. The event was facilitated by Pip Hinman from Sydney Stop The War Coalition.
The rally called on the Albanese Labor government to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) and to cancel the AUKUS nuclear-powered submarines deal.
Senator David Shoebridge indicated that The Greens would initiate a vote on the signing of the TPNW in the Federal parliamnent if it was not signed by the end of this year. The objective is to have Australia join the TPNW as a signatory prior to the second TPNW meeting of states-parties to be held in New York from 27 November to 1 December 2023.
Read how Japan marked the 77th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing here.
Access more information on the devastating impact of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings and the unacceptable humanitarian risks posed by nuclear weapons.
Of interest, as well, is Australian journalist Wilfred Burchett’s report on the Horoshima bombing. Burchett was the first Western journalist to visit Hiroshima after the atomic bomb was dropped, arriving alone by train from Tokyo on 2 September 1945, the day of the formal surrender of Japan. His report, published by The Daily Express in London on 5 September 1945, was entitled “The Atomic Plague”, with the subtitle “I Write This as a Warning to the World”. The text has been reprinted by Honest History.
Also view a short film by David Bradbury on Wilfred Burchett’s return to Hiroshima in 1982.