Thirty thousand people gathered at the Hiroshima peace park yesterday (Friday) to hold a memorial service for the 70,000 killed during the atomic holocaust of August 6th, 1945.
Thirty thousand people gathered at the Hiroshima peace park yesterday (Friday) to hold a memorial service for the 70,000 killed during the atomic holocaust of August 6th, 1945. As Prime Minister Eisaku Sato stepped forward to lay a wreath at the marble Cenotaph, four young Left-wing demonstrators rushed forward in an attempt to attack the Prime Minister. Bodyguards moved rapidly and Mr Sato escaped injury. In all 59 demonstrator smuggle petrol bombs into the park.
The self-styled "New Left" groups had pledged to block Mr Sato's visit to Hiroshima - the first incumbent Prime Minister to attend the anniversary ceremony - because they claim that it obscures the true guilt for World War II and the bombing, as well as covering up Japan's current military policies. Police said the four attackers had not been identified, although later the girl was said to have been related to victims of the bombing.
Heavy rain prevailed throughout - a backlash of the typhoon which has been sweeping Japan for the last few days. The weather conditions also affected the transmission of the film from Hiroshima to Tokyo - where it was telerecorded for distribution. We therefore must apologise for the quality of this film.
SYNOPSIS: The memorial to the seventy thousand who died in the atomic holocaust a August 6th, 1945, towers over the crowds who have gathered in Hiroshima Peace park to commemorate the dreadful event. The memorial service is held every year and - as they are doing here -- names of those who died are added to the list already buried on the spot which was the epicentre of the explosion.
Thirty thousand people gathered this year to lay memorial wreathe and to pray.
Among them, prime Minister Eisaku Sato walked forward to lay a wreath - the first incumbent Prime Minister to do so. Suddenly, a young girl rushed forward and attempted to attack him. Body guards acted quickly and she and her other demonstrators were hurriedly carried off - while Mr Sato continued with the ceremony. It was later said that the young people had not been identified. although the girl was reported to have been related to victims of the bombing.
A total of fifty-nine demonstrators were arrested - the four who attempted to attack the Prime minister and the rest for trying to smuggle petrol bombs into the park. They are all said to belong to the self-styled "New Left" groups which had pledged to block Mr Sato's visit to Hiroshima - because, they claim, the anniversary ceremonies obscure the true guilt for World War Two and the bombing, as well as covering up Japan's current military policies.
The ceremonies were additionally hampered by the storms in the wake of the typhoon which has swept through Japan for the last few days.