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Foreign Minister Muñoz accompanies President Bachelet during her visit to the historic city of Nagasaki, Japan

Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Heraldo Muñoz, accompanied President Michelle Bachelet during her visit to the city of Nagasaki, in southern Japan, where the second nuclear bomb used against civilians was dropped in 1945, which ultimately meant the surrender of Japan in World War II.

In an atmosphere of meditation, the Chilean authorities arrived at the "Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum" and were accompanied during their tour by the Museum's Director, Akitoshi Nakamura. The Head of State signed the Guestbook at the Memorial for the victims of the Atomic Bomb and deposited an offering of a thousand origami cranes.

Later, Minister Muñoz and President Bachelet toured the memorial that recalls the exact place where the 1945 bomb fell. In the mausoleum of the hypocentre, erected in 1956, a chrysanthemum was deposited in homage to the victims.

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At 11:02 on August 9, 1945, the "Fat Man" atomic bomb exploded in the city sky. The area within a 2.5 kilometre radius of the hypocentre was completely devastated, and the rest of the city was left in ruins. 74,000 people died instantly, another 75,000 with injuries, both mental and physical, or other disorders caused by radiation. The death toll was 137,000 people.

Continuing the visit, and accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Mitsunari Okamoto, they reached the ruins of the Shiroyama Primary School, located about 500 meters from the hypocentre where the atomic bomb exploded. The explosion killed 29 teachers and about 110 students who were in school at the time, as well as about 1,400 students who were at home.

President Bachelet reiterated Chile's commitment to peace. "We are a country firmly committed to peace, non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament, as we have consistently maintained in multilateral, regional and global forums. I had the honour of signing for Chile, in September last year at the UN General Assembly in New York, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. We want a world free of nuclear weapons and mass destruction", he said.