HIROSHIMA DAY 2022: Hiroshima Day is observed on August 6 to commemorate the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan in 1945 at the end of World War II. An estimated 80,000 people died instantly from the blast, while the radiation effects killed tens of thousands more in the months and years that followed. Hiroshima Day, celebrated at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Japan, highlights the effects of nuclear wars, honors those who have been killed, discourages nuclear proliferation and promotes world peace .
On the 77th anniversary of the event, we take a look at the history, key facts, and significance of Hiroshima Day.
Hiroshima Day: History
The city of Hiroshima was a major hub of industrial and military activities in Japan, part of the Axis coalition, including Nazi Germany and the Kingdom of Italy. The Axis opposed the Allies, which included Britain, the United States, the Soviet Union and China.
Japan carried out several attacks on United States and British forces to gain control of European and American colonies in Southeast Asia and their resources. On December 7 and 8, 1941, respectively, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and British-occupied Hong Kong, causing heavy casualties and extensive damage to the American and British fleets.
The United States secretly developed atomic bomb technology as part of the Manhattan Project, led by nuclear physicist Robert Oppenheimer. Eventually, the atomic bombs nicknamed “Little Boy” and “Fat Man” were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945, respectively. Japan surrenders, ending World War II.
About 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 80,000 people in Nagasaki perished by the end of 1945. Many children were born later with birth defects, while radiation-induced cancers killed more people.
Hiroshima Day: Meaning
Although Japan recovered from the attack and has prospered ever since, the shadow of nuclear war continues to haunt it. Russia’s attack on Ukraine, attacks by the Islamic State, China’s growing territorial aggression have raised fears of a possible Third World War. Hiroshima Day is a call for peace to all world powers to prevent such horrors from happening again.
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