2 Dead, 2 Missing in Drowning Accident – Fukuoka
Two people died and two others were missing in a drowning accident in Fukuoka Prefecture on Friday, local police and rescuers said. Ryo Morio, 5, and his 7-year-old brother were swept away at a beach near the mouth of the Kazuru River in the city of Koga. Their father and Kazuya Terada, 49, tried to save the children but were also washed away, the police said.
The 5-year-old boy and Terada were later confirmed dead. Rescuers are searching for the other two. Swimming is prohibited in the area.
Atomic Bombing of Nagasaki Remembered – Nagasaki
Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue called for an end to countries’ reliance on nuclear weapons as a means to protect themselves, as the southwestern Japan city marked the 72nd anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing on Wednesday. In his annual Nagasaki Peace Declaration, Taue stressed the significance of a treaty to ban nuclear weapons, adopted at the United Nations in July, urging Japan to join the pact. He read out the declaration at an annual memorial ceremony held at Nagasaki Peace Park that was attended by hibakusha atomic bomb survivors, bereaved families of victims and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Other participants included representatives from 58 foreign countries, including the United States, Russia, China and three other nuclear powers. At the ring of a bell, participants observed a minute’s silence at 11:02 a.m., the exact time the bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945, three days after the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima. A list of the names of 3,551 people newly confirmed in the year to July to have died due to the atomic bombing of Nagasaki was dedicated at a memorial, bringing the total death toll to 175,743.
Peace Pledge Renewed on War-End Anniversary – Tokyo
Japan renewed on Tuesday its pledge not to fight a war again at a government-sponsored ceremony to mark the 72nd anniversary of the end of World War II. The ceremony, held at the Nippon Budokan hall in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward, was attended by about 6,400 people, including the Emperor and the Empress, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and relatives of victims of the war. Participants mourned for about 3.1 million war dead by observing a minute of silence from noon. The Emperor expressed his deep remorse over the war in his address at the annual event, as he did in the past two years.
In his speech, Abe said that the path Japan has taken for 72 years as a country that rejects war and pursues peace will not change. Abe said, “The peace and prosperity that we enjoy exist upon the precious sacrifices” of those who died in the war. “We will never again repeat the devastation of war,” Abe declared. “Since the end of the war, Japan has consistently walked the path of a country that abhors war and values peace and has been committed to the peace and prosperity of the world,” Abe said.
JAL Crash Remembered after 32 years – Gunma
Family members of victims of the 1985 crash of a Japan Airlines jumbo jet went on a memorial hike to the mountainous disaster site on Saturday, its 32nd anniversary, pledging efforts to prevent the accident from being forgotten.
The family members and other people connected to the victims climbed the 1,565-meter-high Osutaka Ridge in the village of Ueno, Gunma Prefecture, to pay their respects at memorial markers for individual victims that are placed along the steep 800-meter trail, wishing that a similar accident will never happen. While thinking of the victims, the mourners made a promise to hand the story down to future generations in order to prevent the tragedy, which left 520 people dead, from fading with time.
Risako Uchino, 57, from Kawasaki had avoided visiting Osutaka Ridge for years since she lost her 54-year-old father, Shinjiro Minami, in the crash, visiting other places on the anniversary of her father’s death. But she started taking part in the annual memorial hike in 2004 after interactions with other bereaved families.
This year, Uchino built a stone burial marker for her father to replace a wooden one. “I thought it was nice that the wood decays and goes back to soil,” she said. Her thought changed, however, after getting energy from the memorial hike every year. Feeling that she is “fixated here” on the ridge, she chose a stone marker, with hopes that her father will watch over her grandchildren.