Rallies held in Japan to protest against Russia’s invasion, nuke threat

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Rally participants offer prayers to the people of Ukraine in front of the Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima on Saturday.

Hundreds of people took part in rallies on Saturday to protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Moscow’s suggestion that it might resort to using nuclear weapons.

Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a speech on Thursday in which he intimated as much.

“Russia is one of the strongest nuclear powers now,” Putin said, according to Russia’s news agency Tass. The Russian leader then added that “nobody should have doubts that the direct attack against Russia will lead to a defeat and devastating consequences for a potential aggressor.”

On Saturday, about 50 people gathered in front of Hiroshima’s Atomic Bomb Dome and about the same number in Nagasaki Peace Park.

In Nagasaki at 11:02 a.m., the time the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city on Aug. 9, 1945, rally participants held up placards that read, “No more Hiroshima / No more Nagasaki.”

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Rally participants protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo, on Saturday.

Toshiyuki Mimaki, who chairs the Hiroshima Prefectural Confederation of A-Bomb Sufferers Organizations, was deeply concerned about Putin’s remarks.

“It’s been 77 years and the fear of what would happen if nuclear weapons were used may have faded,” said Mimaki, 79, who was 3 years old when he experienced the devastation.

In Tokyo, Ukrainians and Russians living in Japan gathered to call for an end to the invasion.

About 250 Ukrainians took part in a rally in front of Shibuya Station holding placards and singing the Ukrainian national anthem. In front of Shinjuku Station, about 100 Russians gathered and unfurled a banner that read “Russians oppose war.”