The thirty-second anniversary of the destruction of Hiroshima by an American atomic bomb has been marked by the first unified conference against nuclear weapons to be held in 14 years.
The thirty-second anniversary of the destruction of Hiroshima by an American atomic bomb has been marked by the first unified conference against nuclear weapons to be held in 14 years. Japan's two major anti-nuclear groups have patched up their differences after a policy split in 1963.
SYNOPSIS: The highlight of the meeting which began on Wednesday (3 August) was a march which began in Hiroshima near the point, marked by a memorial dome, above which the bomb exploded in 1945.
The meeting was jointly sponsored by the two groups which broke up when the Communist faction demanded suspension of nuclear tests only by non-Communist countries. The socialist faction wanted the ban applied universally. This year the conference was being attended by about 400 Japanese delegates and 150 foreign representatives from 30 countries. For the first time in 11 years the Soviet Union sent a five-man delegation. Messages from the heads of state o??? Laos, Cuba and other countries were read out.
Earlier a scientific report on the effects of U.S. bomb tests on the Bikini atoll was published in Tokyo to coincide with the anniversaries of Hiroshima on Saturday (6 August) and Nagasaki on Tuesday (9 August). It showed that there were several hundred suffers from thyroid gland troubles and other disorders in the area following the test in 1954.
Another team of scientists which has been meeting in Hiroshima studied the damage and after-effects of the two war-time bombings. They estimated the number of dead in Hiroshima at 140,000 and in Nagasaki at 70,000, far higher than the previous 1967 report by the United Nations which put Hiroshima's fatalities at 78,000 and Nagasaki's at 27,000.
It had taken two and a half months of negotiations by some of Japan's top leaders of the pacifist movement to arrange joint sponsorship of the conference, but it is still doubtful whether the two groups would cooperate over a similar meeting set for next week in Nagasaki. Speakers in Hiroshima told their audience that the aim was for joint international action to rouse popular opinion throughout the world against nuclear weapons.
Britain's Philip Noel-Baker was one of the two Nobel Peace Prize-winners who attended the conference. V A Matveev, leader of the Soviet delegation, attacked the United States for its decision to use the neutron bomb, which kills people without destroying property.