The scale of the tragedy is reflected in the horrifying statistics of human casualties: the first American bomb named “Little Boy”, which was dropped over Hiroshima, reportedly killed 140,000 civilians, while the second bomb, “Fat Man”, killed 70,000 residents of Nagasaki. Tens of thousands died in the aftermath of the attacks, suffering from radiation and developing cancer and other incurable diseases.
Seven decades later, the world is locked in a fierce debate on nuclear proliferation, while Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui has reportedly called on President Obama and the leaders of other nuclear powers to reinforce their efforts to build a nuclear-free world.
However, the question on whether the Hiroshima message will come through is still up in the air. The idea is shared by the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Hans Blix. In an article entitled “Hiroshima anniversary is a reminder of the ongoing threat”, carried by the Irish Examiner, he writes: “Seventy years ago this month, the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki opened the darkest chapter in the long history of humanity’s wartime horrors. Fire, bullets, and bayonets were now joined by nuclear radiation — a silent, invisible killer like gas and biological agents.”
Hans Blix then comments that: “Rather than nuclear disarmament, the world is witnessing an upgrading — and, in some cases, expansion — of nuclear arsenals. There is little hope of any change for the better unless the Security Council’s permanent members conclude that their own security requires resuming détente among themselves and launching serious disarmament negotiations, as promised. They have shown their willingness to act to restrain other states from acquiring weapons of mass destruction; now it is time for them to restrain themselves.”
Fyodor Voilolovsky, Deputy Director, Institute of World Economy and International Relations (studio guest); Yoichi Tamaki, Japanese independent political analyst; Edward Lozansky, President and Founder of the American University in Moscow and Jane Darby Menton, a Rhodes Scholar working on an MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies at Oxford University (speaks from Hiroshima) share their views.