|The insert in the drawing reads:
'the year is 1945, the artist Japanese.
But the victims of war are still crying today.
Our tax money buys the weapons.'
Nagasaki prays for world peace on anniversary of atomic
By Yuri Kageyama, Associated Press, 08/09/99
TOKYO (AP) The people of Nagasaki fell silent on Monday amid the clang of bells, the shriek of sirens and the flutter of doves marking the moment 54 years ago when an atomic bomb shattered their city.
Three days earlier, Hiroshima had felt the blast of the world's first atomic bombing, when 140,000 people died. Then on Aug. 9, 1945, a second American A-bomb killed more than 60,000 people in Nagasaki. Japan surrendered unconditionally six days later, on Aug. 15, 1945. It was the end of World War II.
"Our city of Nagasaki was instantly transformed into charred ruins," Nagasaki Mayor Itcho Ito said in a commemorative ceremony Monday. "From this hellish experience, we have gained the conviction that the existence of nuclear weapons cannot be tolerated."
The pain of that day, the mayor reminded the world, has yet to end. More than half a century later, those who survived the blast still suffer physically and emotionally. Many fell victim to radiation sickness and live in fear that their children might become sick or targets of social discrimination.
Some people shun marriage with bomb victims or their descendants because of fears about radiation sickness being passed down through the generations.
"Many of those who remain today live in a state of loneliness and anxiety," Ito said.
Each year, the victims of the bombing who have died since the previous anniversary are added to an official list kept by the city.
The list, which does not include those who died instantly, was started in 1968 with more than 26,000 names. The city acknowledges that some names are probably missing because of a lack of records.
This year, the names of 2,733 people were added to the list, which now holds the names of 121,588 people.
"As the only nation in the world to suffer atomic bombings, we must be determined never to repeat the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki," Obuchi said.