HIROSHIMA DAY 2022: Hiroshima Day is observed on August 6 to commemorate the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945, at the end of World War II. An estimated 80,000 people died instantly from the blast, while the effects of radiation killed tens of thousands more within the months and years that followed. Hiroshima Day, which is observed at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Japan, highlights the effects of nuclear wars, pays respect to those who got killed, discourages nuclear proliferation and promotes world peace.
On the 77th anniversary of the event, we look at the history, key facts and significance of Hiroshima Day.
Hiroshima Day: History
Hiroshima city was a major hub of industrial and military activities in Japan, a part of the Axis coalition, including Nazi Germany and the Kingdom of Italy. The Axis stood against the Allies, which included Britain, the United States, the Soviet Union and China.
Japan carried out several attacks against the United States and the British forces to seize control of European and American colonies in Southeast Asia and their resources. On December 7 and December 8, 1941, respectively, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and British-occupied Hong Kong, caused numerous casualties and extensive damage to the USA and the UK fleets.
The United States secretly developed the Atomic Bomb technology under the Manhattan Project, led by Nuclear Physicist Robert Oppenheimer. Eventually, the atom bombs nicknamed “Little Boy” and “Fat Man” were dropped on Japan’s Hiroshima and Nagasaki cities on August 6 and August 9, 1945, respectively. Japan surrendered, ending World War II.
About 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 80,000 people in Nagasaki perished by the end of 1945. Many children were later born with birth defects, while radiation-induced cancers killed more people.
Hiroshima Day: Significance
Though Japan recovered from the attack and has since flourished, the shadow of a nuclear war continues to haunt it. Russia’s attack on Ukraine, attacks by the Islamic State, China’s growing territorial aggression has raised fears about a possible World War III. Hiroshima Day is a plea of peace to all world powers to prevent such horrors from ever repeating.