Jean Lambert MEP, a longstanding campaigner for peace, has made the following statement to mark Hiroshima Day:
“We mark the 66th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs with a disquieting sense of familiarity with the devastating consequences of nuclear technology. Japan has experienced the horrors of nuclear weapon attacks and is now experiencing the effects of disaster from so-called peaceful nuclear power. The Fukushima power plant, the scene of Japan’s worst civil nuclear accident, has continued to leak highly toxic radioactive waste since it was crippled by an earthquake and ensuing tsunami on March 11th, resulting in the creation of a 30 kilometre exclusion zone with hundreds of thousands of residents evicted from their homes, the contamination of vital food and water supplies and as yet unknown damage to health. If one damaged reactor can cause so much grief and harm, it isn’t difficult to imagine what absolute havoc would be unleashed on the world as a result of nuclear warfare. We are also seeing UK ex-servicemen still seeking justice for the damage they believe was caused to their health by being present while British nuclear weapons were tested in the 1950s.
“Nuclear weapons do not make the world a safer place and we must make every peaceful effort to prevent their proliferation and encourage their removal. It is incredible to me that the UK is still willing to spend millions on the Trident nuclear-weapons programme when we could be leaders in nuclear disarmament. It would give us a moral authority in disarmament negotiations, save money and reduce the threat to our planet. The world has witnessed enough of the horrific realities of living and dying through the effects of nuclear contamination. On this day, some 66 years since the horrors of Hiroshima and 147 days since Fukushima, we can only hope that, finally, the lessons of the past are being heard.”
Notes to Editor
Hiroshima Day is observed all over the world every year on 6th of August in commemoration of the atomic bombs dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of the Second World War. It is estimated that 140,000 people were killed in Hiroshima and 74,000 people in Nagasaki, where the second, bigger bomb was dropped three days later.