Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Ceremony Scaled Down Due to Typhoon

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Workers on Monday take down tents prepared for the 78th ceremony marking the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki, scheduled to take place Wednesday at Nagasaki Peace Park.

NAGASAKI — The 78th ceremony marking the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki scheduled Wednesday will be drastically scaled down due to approaching Typhoon Khanun, the sixth of this season, the city has announced.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will not be in attendance, and neither will many of the usual guests, including A-bomb survivors known as hibakusha and diplomats in Japan. Since this ceremony started in 1956, this will be the first time that A-bomb survivors are not attending.

The venue will also be changed from the usual Nagasaki Peace Park to an indoor facility, Dejima Messe Nagasaki, the city said Sunday. The last time the ceremony was held indoors was in 1963.

The ceremony may be canceled depending on the weather, the city said.

On Wednesday, a moment of silence will be held at 11:02 a.m., the time the atomic bomb exploded, and a peace declaration will be read by Mayor Shiro Suzuki. Whether a Pledge for Peace read by a representative of the A-bomb survivors will be held has not been decided.

“It is a difficult decision,” Suzuki said to reporters. “We have given priority to the safety of those who would have attended the ceremony.”