Every year in the month of August people around the world get reminded of atomic bombings of two Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the final stage of the World War II. The second World War ended abruptly in August, 1945, killing nearly 130,000 people by means of dropping bombs which remain the only use of nuclear weapons for warfare in history.
On August 6, the United States dropped an atomic bomb by the name of Little Boy on the city of Hiroshima. The then President Harry S. Truman called for Japan’s surrender 16 hours later; Japanese response to this ultimatum was to ignore it. Three days later, on August 9, the U.S dropped a second atomic bomb named Fat Man on the city of Nagasaki. On August 15, six days after the bombing of Nagasaki and the Soviet Union’s declaration of war, Japan announced its surrender to the Allies.
The bombings’ role in Japan’s surrender and their ethical justification are still debated. Some critics argue most of the dead were civilian in both cities, although Hiroshima had a sizable garrison; others defend the Second World War ended suddenly, thereby saving millions of human lives and got a good lesson for future generations.
In 1953, the President of the United States, Dwight D Eisenhower, proposed the creation of the international body to both regulate and promote the peaceful use of atomic power in his address to the UN General Assembly. As a result, the International Atomic Energy Agency, which seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and to inhibit its use for any military purposes, was established as an autonomous organization on 29 July 1957.
At the dawn of the nuclear age, the United States hoped to maintain a monopoly on its new weapon, but the secrets and the technology for making nuclear weapons soon spread. After atomic bombings of two Japanese cities in 1945, the Soviet Union conducted its first nuclear test explosion three years later. The United Kingdom (1952), France (1960), and China (1964) followed. In October, 1962 the Cuban missile crisis emerged as a dangerous problem on the international stage with the Soviet Union building bases in Cuba capable of launching missiles carrying nuclear warheads. The United States said that it would impose a naval and air quarantine on shipments of offensive military equipment to Cuba. It was an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation between the two superpowers. With clever intervention of the UN Secretary-General U Thant, the world was saved from coming close to a nuclear holocaust.
“The bombings’ role in Japan’s surrender and their ethical justification are still debated. Some critics argue most of the dead were civilian in both cities, although Hiroshima had a sizable garrison; others defend the Second World War ended suddenly, thereby saving millions of human lives and got a good lesson for future generations.”
The United States and other like-minded states became nervous and negotiated the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1968 and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty(CTBT) in 1996. The NPT recognizes five countries as nuclear weapon states: the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France and China. Four other states are known or believed to possess nuclear weapons: India, Pakistan and North Korea have openly tested and declared that they possess nuclear weapons, while Israel is internationally ambiguous regarding its nuclear weapons program.
The regional organization ASEAN also focused on peace and stability in the Southeast Asia. On 15 December, 1995, the Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty was signed with the intention of turning the region into a nuclear-weapon-free zone. The SEANWFZ met in Vientiane, Laos to view the plans for the Treaty being implemented from 2013 to 2017 the agreements on disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and promotion of cooperation with International Atomic Energy Agency. The IAEA recognizes knowledge as the nuclear energy industry’s most valuable asset and resource, without which the industry cannot operate safely and economically. Nuclear energy can be used for electricity and peaceful purposes. For example, China and India have well-considered policies to increase dramatically their use of nuclear power to make that electricity. Both see nuclear power as an important ingredient of sustainable development. The reason is their combined population represents almost half of the world’s and is rapidly increasing their energy.
In conclusion, this article should remind us of tragic events way back in 1945 and those in the 1986 nuclear reactor
explosion and disaster near Chernobyl, Ukraine and the 2011 Fukushima disaster in
Japan. We should take a lesson from the above-mentioned
major disasters by preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, promoting cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and achieving complete nuclear disarmament.