On Sunday, Japan marked the 78th anniversary of the US atomic bombing on Hiroshima, with the city’s mayor emphasizing the need for nuclear disarmament and criticizing the Group of Seven (G7) leaders’ stance on nuclear deterrence as misguided.
This commemorative day, dedicated to honoring the victims of the world’s first nuclear attack, coincides with concerns raised by Russia over the potential use of nuclear weapons in its conflict with Ukraine.
Simultaneously, the biographical film “Oppenheimer,” depicting the creation of the atomic bomb, has achieved success at the US box office. However, the movie has faced criticism for largely overlooking the devastation caused by the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which occurred three days later on August 9, 1945.
While the release of “Oppenheimer” in Japan is yet to be announced, another controversy has arisen concerning the blockbuster “Barbie” film, which was released on the same day. The film’s distributor embraced fan-created “Barbenheimer” memes that juxtaposed images of the actors in the leading roles with depictions of nuclear explosions.
Hiroshima recently gained attention in May when Prime Minister Fumio Kishida hosted a G7 summit in the city, his hometown. During the summit, G7 leaders issued a statement expressing their commitment to disarmament while maintaining that nuclear weapons should continue to serve as a deterrent against aggression and warfare.
Approximately 50,000 participants in the outdoor memorial ceremony observed a moment of silence. Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui emphasized the imperative for world leaders to confront the stark reality that nuclear threats, voiced by certain policymakers, highlight the misguided nature of nuclear deterrence theory.