As we approach the 70th anniversary next year of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there are growing calls to place the humanitarian consequences of their use at the heart of deliberations about nuclear weapons.
It has been 69 years, but the memory is fresh in the minds of 190,000 survivors and their descendants. It has been 69 years but a formal apology has yet to be issued. It has been 69 years – and the likelihood of it happening all over again is still a frightening reality.
The atrocious Second World War left behind lasting damage by lowering our standards for what is marginally acceptable.
Soon after President Barack Obama was elected in 2008, hundreds of leaders of the global medical community wrote an open letter to him, and to newly elected Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, urging them to make the abolition of nuclear weapons their highest priority:
Sachiko Masumura (79) was standing just two kilometres away from the hypocentre of Little Boy, the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan over six and a half decades ago.