Ambassador Kitano's Speech at the Commemoration for All Affected by Atomic Bombing and Testing: 76th Anniversary of the First Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima

Good afternoon,
Councillor Joe Costello, Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin,
Reverend Patrick Comerford, President of Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament,
Dr. Hutchinson Edgar, Chairperson of Irish CND,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude, on behalf of the Government of Japan, to the Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament for organising this annual commemoration ceremony for the victims of the atomic bomb on this Hiroshima Day. Our sincere respect for the continued effort of Irish CND towards the abolition of nuclear weapons. My thanks also goes to City of Dublin to host this event.
It was on this day of August 6, seventy-six years ago, an atomic bomb, codenamed “Little Boy”, was dropped above Hiroshima. It was at 8:15 in the morning. Little Boy exploded at an altitude of around 600 metres. The consequence was huge and inhuman.
If you go to Hiroshima, the place below where the bomb was dropped has now become the Peace Memorial Park. In the past I was told by somebody, “This was a great tragedy, but it was fortunate that the atomic bomb was dropped above a park and not a busy city area.” This is untrue. The atomic bomb was dropped above a busy city area with houses, shops and streets. The atomic bomb devastated the whole area. Houses, shops and streets were all destroyed together with people who were there. The atomic bomb transformed the area into no man’s land.
At that time, there were only a handful of nuclear weapons like “Little Boy”, including “Fat Boy” which was dropped on Nagasaki three days later.
Now, after 76 years, it is estimated that there are over thirteen thousand nuclear weapons all around the world. The number is much less than the around seventy thousand at its peak in the middle of 1980s. Still, we have a long way to go to realise a world free of nuclear weapons.
In this context, I welcome the decision by the U.S. and Russia in February this year to extend the new START for another five years. This is good news which came shortly after the inauguration of President Biden in the U.S..
I acknowledge the commitment of the Irish Government to the cause of nuclear disarmament, as indicated in its effort to realise the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) which entered into force this year.
The Government of Japan continues to be committed to advocate for a world free of nuclear weapons as shown in the United Nations General Assembly resolution we submit each year. I would like to restate that the resolution which was adopted in December last year stressed the importance for the international community to take immediate actions together and to conduct future-oriented dialogues on nuclear disarmament with a view to maintaining and strengthening the regime of the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
On this day to mark another anniversary of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima, I would like to appeal to all to renew our commitment and determination for striving towards a world without nuclear weapons.
Thank you very much for your kind attention.