Released doves fly during the ceremony for the atomic bomb victims marking the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki at the Peace Park. Photo by Kezio Mori/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 9 (UPI) -- The mayor of Nagasaki called for Japan's government to join an international treaty banning nuclear weapons Sunday, 75 years after the city was struck by an atomic bomb.
Mayor Tomihisa Taue read a peace declaration during an anniversary event at Nagasaki Peace Park calling on Japanese President Shinzo Abe and the central government to sign and ratify the 2017 United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear weapons.
"Among the nuclear-weapon states and countries under the nuclear umbrella, there have been voices stating that it is too early for such a treaty," he said. "That is not so. Nuclear arms reductions are far too late in coming."
On Aug. 9, 1945, a U.S. B-29 bomber dropped an atomic bomb nicknamed "Fat Man" on the Japanese city of Nagasaki three days after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Three weeks later, Japan formally surrendered, ending World War II.
A moment of silence was held in remembrance of the bombing but the ceremony was limited due to restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
"If, as with the novel coronavirus, which we did not fear until it began spreading among our immediate surroundings, humanity does not become aware of the threat of nuclear weapons until they are used again, we will find ourselves in an irrevocable predicament," said Taue.
Speaking at the event, Abe criticized the U.N. treaty as unrealistic, noting that none of the other nuclear states have joined and it has not garnered support from non-nuclear states.
"The treaty was created without considering the reality of security," said Abe. "I have to say the treaty takes a different approach from the standpoint of our country."
Also Sunday, a Catholic mass was held at the Urakami Cathedral in Nagasaki in honor of the anniversary.
Worshippers honored the 8,500 lives that were lost at the site in the blast and fires that followed.