Hiroshima Day 2022: Hiroshima Day is celebrated on 6 August to commemorate the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan in 1945 at the end of World War II. An estimated 80,000 people died immediately from the eruption, while the effects of radiation killed tens of thousands in the months and years that followed. Hiroshima Day, which is celebrated in Japan’s Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, highlights the effects of nuclear wars, honors those killed, discourages nuclear proliferation and promotes world peace.
On the 77th anniversary of the event, we look back at the history, key facts and significance of Hiroshima Day.
Hiroshima Day: History
The city of Hiroshima was a major center of industrial and military activity in Japan, which was a part of the Axis alliance, 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 launched a series of attacks against the United States and British forces in order to take control of the European and American colonies and their resources in Southeast Asia. On December 7 and December 8, 1941, respectively, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and British-occupied Hong Kong, causing many casualties and extensive damage to the United States and UK fleets.
The United States secretly developed atomic bomb technology under the Manhattan Project led by nuclear physicist Robert Oppenheimer. Eventually, atomic bombs called “Little Boy” and “Fat Man” were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and August 9, 1945, respectively. Japan surrendered, ending World War II.
Hiroshima Day: Significance
Although Japan recovered from the attack and has flourished ever since, the shadow of nuclear war haunts it. Russia’s attacks on Ukraine, Islamic State attacks, China’s growing territorial aggression have raised fears about a possible World War III. Hiroshima Day is an appeal for peace to all world powers to prevent such horrors from ever repeating.