German foreign minister gives speech in Nagasaki, calling for nuclear disarmament

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The names of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki stand for the devastating effects of the use of nuclear weapons. In Nagasaki, German Foreign Minister Baerbock takes this as an opportunity to passionately speak out for a world without nuclear weapons.

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has strongly promoted a world without nuclear weapons during a visit to the Atomic Bomb Museum in Nagasaki, Japan. The nuclear attack on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945 is a reminder to work together on a world without nuclear weapons, “even if we are very far away from it,” said the Green politician at the start of her two-day inaugural visit to Japan. Even though the number of nuclear weapons worldwide has increased rather than decreased in recent times, it is important for the federal government to continue to work “for peace and a world without nuclear weapons”.

Nagasaki and the Japanese city of Hiroshima stand “like no other place for absolute annihilation and war and as a symbolic place for the warning against the use of nuclear weapons,” said Baerbock, visibly shaken. The federal government supports disarmament, “even if the world situation is completely different at the moment,” the Foreign Minister stressed against the background of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.

Baerbock referred to initiatives such as the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty, in which Germany is participating as an observer for the first time, and the Non-Proliferation Treaty, in which active work is being done on nuclear disarmament steps – “even if this is anything but easy in the current world situation”. Earlier, Baerbock had visited the museum in memory of the US atomic bombing of Nagasaki and laid a wreath. She also met with a survivor of the atomic bomb explosion.

In Nagasaki alone, about 70,000 people were killed by the direct impact of the atomic bomb, 75,000 more were injured. Three days earlier, the US had already devastated the Japanese city of Hiroshima with a nuclear bomb with a lower explosive force. Under the impression of the destruction, the Empire of Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945.

Baerbock is currently on a six-day trip to Asia. On Friday, she attended the G20 Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Bali, Indonesia. She then visited the island state of Palau. Japan is the last stop. Baerbock stays here for two days.

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