NAGASAKI Mayor Tomihisa Taue vigorously criticised Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s increasingly militaristic defence policy this weekend.
The mayor marked the 69th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city with a “peace declaration” ceremony in Nagasaki’s Peace Park.
Mayor Taue urged Mr Abe’s government to listen to growing public concerns over Japan’s commitment to its pacifist pledge.
Thousands, including a record number of representatives from 51 countries, held a minute’s silence and prayed for the victims at 11.02am, the moment the bomb was dropped over Nagasaki on August 9 1945.
Representing the survivors, 75-year-old Miyako Jodai said the government was not living up to expectations.
Jodai, who was exposed to radiation a mile and a half from ground zero, said the defence policy was an “outrageous” shift away from pacifism.
“Please stand by our commitment to peace. Please do not forget the suffering of the survivors,” she pleaded.