Residents of Hiroshima City sympathized with Lebanon over the Beirut port explosion on Tuesday that claimed the lives of over 100 people, injured thousands and leveled one of the biggest sea ports in the Middle East.
Hiroshima City on Thursday marked the 75th anniversary of its atomic bombing by the United States, by holding the annual ceremony at the Peace Memorial Park near Ground Zero.
Representatives from 83 countries and a large number of people attended the event that was held this morning at the time when the bomb was dropped.
A uranium-core atomic bomb named “Little Boy” released by a US bomber exploded above Hiroshima 75 years ago, killing an estimated 140,000 people by the end of 1945.
Just two days ago, a big explosion with a huge flash and mushroom cloud, devastated the Beirut port and reminded people in the region of the Hiroshima atomic bombing.
“I feel ache in my heart about the explosion in Lebanon. It’s been 75 years since Hiroshima was bombed. For a person who had education for peace, I feel for Lebanon, but I’m sure Lebanon will also stand up firm like Hiroshima,” a young Japanese man attending the Hiroshima ceremony told Arab News Japan while holding back tears.
A student said he heard about the explosion in Lebanon on last night’s news.
“It’s not known yet if the explosion was an attack, but it claimed many lives on the spot, and that makes me sad,” the student said.
“What happened in Beirut is similar to in some ways to Hiroshima when we think how many people died instantly. This is why, as a resident of Hiroshima, I feel very sad about what happened in Lebanon.”
Meanwhile in Tokyo, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi sent a message to his Lebanese counterpart Charbel Wehbe, expressing sympathy and support.
“I am very distressed at the news that many people were killed in the large-scale explosion that occurred in Beirut, and that there was enormous damage,” Motegi said.
“We would like to express our heartfelt condolences to those who died and to express our sympathies to those who were injured. We also pray for a quick recovery,” the ministry in Tokyo said.