Russia Calls for Military Tribunal on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

President of Japan Hu Jintao
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attends a ceremony at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park marking the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing in Hiroshima, Japan, on Thusday. Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

MOSCOW, Aug. 5 (UPI) — An international military tribunal should be formed to examine the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Russian officials suggested at a roundtable discussion at Moscow State University.

State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin said historians and military science specialists have long argued whether nuclear weapons should ever be allowed in war. A tribunal would examine international law as it relates to wartime practices.

In May, Naryshkin labeled the bombings in Japan at the end of World War II a “crime against humanity, which still has not been correctly assessed.” At the time, he was speaking at the annual Russian-Japanese Forum in Tokyo.

“Many funeral and memorial events will be held in Japan in the beginning of August, which would be 70 years after these barbaric and inhumane bombings took place. We in Russia will grieve along with our Japanese friends,” Naryshkin said then.

At Wednesday’s discussion, the Russian Foreign Ministry distributed a copy of a special report from employees of the Soviet Embassy to Japan after visiting the two sites in 1945. Officials said the document is being published for the first time.

The report describes the scene: “It was raining heavily on the day the team arrived in Hiroshima. The train station and the town were obliterated with no cover against the rain.”

Citing witnesses to the blast, the report said, “A huge explosion followed a flare-up, and many people were subsequently burned to death.”

On the radioactive impact on people, the report, quoting a doctor named Fukuhara, said some saw their white blood cell count plummet and bled from the nose and eyes. Some died three to four days after exposure.

In Nagasaki, the Soviet team noted, there were no survivors around ground zero. A witness said a child who had climbed a tree and was covered by thick layers of leaves did not die, while a child nearby on the ground did.

“Society’s interest in this issue is very keen. I would propose that this document be posted on the Russian Historical Society’s web site in the near future, even today,” Naryshkin said Wednesday.

“The Foreign Ministry leadership has decided to make a copy of this report, which has never been published before, even in Russian academic publications. In our view, it deserves to be published in the run-up to this anniversary,” said Alexander Ilyshev-Vvedensky, head of the Japanese division within the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Third Asia Department.

The atomic bombs dropped by the United States on the two Japanese cities killed at least 130,000 people. The bombings were the only time in the history of warfare that nuclear weapons were used.

Residents in Hiroshima were preparing to mark the somber 70-year anniversary of the bombings this week. Dozens of people also lit candles outside the Japanese Embassy in Moscow to commemorate the thousands of victims lost.


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