Kishida vows to keep Nagasaki ‘as last place to endure horror’ of nuclear weapons

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida makes a speech Tuesday during a memorial ceremony marking 77 years since the atomic bombing of Nagasaki.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who represents a constituency in Hiroshima, on Tuesday became the first leader from an atomic-bombed city to attend the ceremony marking the A-bombing of Nagasaki.

“Even in the midst of a severe security environment, we must continue the history of not using nuclear weapons, keeping Nagasaki as the last place to endure the horror of their use,” Kishida said in his speech during the memorial event, adapting the theme of the city’s message calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

In recent years, there had not been a significant difference in the speeches made by prime ministers at the annual ceremonies in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This time, however, the text read by Kishida during each city’s memorials incorporated the circumstances of each city, thereby highlighting that nuclear disarmament is his life’s work.

Later in the afternoon, Kishida visited the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum to become the first incumbent prime minister to visit the site. The visit sent a message of solidarity to atomic bomb survivors as it fulfilled a long-cherished wish by the city’s hibakusha group.