Mon, August 06, 2012
World > Asia-Pacific > Focus on China's Neighborhood

Eyeing China, Japan holds Hiroshima memorial

2012-08-06 03:18:04 GMT2012-08-06 11:18:04(Beijing Time)

By Wang Qi, Sina English

China will be absent from the annual peace ceremony in Hiroshima that marked the 67th anniversary Monday of the U.S. nuclear attack on the city, reported Japanese news agency Kyodo News on Sunday.

Atomic bomb sufferers and their families will hold memorials for the people who died in the blast and pray for a nuclear-free world at the memorial, which, according to Hiroshima government Saturday, will be attended by representatives from 71 countries and EU, including First Secretary of Russian ambassador to Japan, British and French ambassadors and US ambassador Johns Roos.

What is, in particular, noteworthy is that Clifton Truman Daniel, grandson of former US President Harry S. Truman who ordered to drop two atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, will attend the ceremony for the first time.

Kyodo News said on Sunday China will not attend the memorial, but Chinese ambassador to Japan has yet to confirm the report.

The Hiroshima memorial has become a tradition since 1955. In 1985, the Chinese government sent wreaths to the memorial. And a memorial and pray center was established in 2002.

Today, it has become a significant symbol of Japan’s anti-nuclear determination. But Mayor of Hiroshima Kazumi Matsui will not include the nuclear power issue in his Peace Declaration, said Kyodo News.

Instead, he will call on the Japanese central government to take the lead in wiping out nuclear weapons and adopt a safe energy policy so that Japanese citizens’ lives can be protected.

There were 210,830 atomic-bomb sufferers with health insurance in Japan as of this March, according to Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun.

Still, in a separate report, Japan and the United States agreed to revise the guideline for Japan and the US Defense cooperation during a meeting last Friday between a Japanese Defense official and US Secretary of Defense at Pentagon, Washington.

The move aims to strengthen the two countries’ capability of playing against China.

During the meeting, the Japanese defense official said the situation in East Asia has changed fundamentally, pointing that China’s maritime strategy directly threatens the safety of Japan and the United States, which made it necessary to revise the guideline.

The guideline for Japan and US defense cooperation, amended in 1997, was mainly designed for the DPRK. It stipulates that the two countries should cooperate and provide aid to each other if wars with DPRK should break out.

But this time the two sides believed it is necessary to revise the guideline because of China’s “proactive maritime strategy, especially its navy’s increasing presence in the East China Sea.”

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