Empress Michiko’s birthday wish – a nuclear-free world

  October 21, 2009 at 10:05 pm by

On her 75th birthday, Empress Michiko issued a call for the abolition of atomic weapons and expressed hope that one day we’ll all live in a nuclear-free world.

The Empress noted: “The horrors of nuclear weapons are not only the magnitude of their destruction but also the serious and tragic effects of radiation that leaves victims suffering long. I think Japan, the country that has been hit by atomic bombs, needs to seek broader and deeper understanding of this in the international community.”

Japan remains the only country in the world to have directly suffered from a nuclear weapon attack: on August 6, 1945 the United States dropped an atomic bomb on city of Hiroshima and 3 days later, on August 9, another bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki. The combined death toll exceeded 200,000 people, while hundreds of thousands suffered from lasting effects of radiation and burns.

The Empress also spoke of one of the biggest worries of recent times – the economic recession. “Many people lost their jobs and homes, had to give up on higher education or had hiring promises cancelled. This was the most serious concern in this past year,” she said.

To commemorate Empress Michiko’s birthday, the IHA has released series of new pictures; you can see them in this thread.

To learn more about Empress Michiko’s life, read this blog entry.

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