SNP states nuclear dissent as Hiroshima remembered

Fiona Hyslop
Fiona Hyslop
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THE Scottish Government has restated its opposition to nuclear weapons on the 70th anniversary of the atomic bomb being dropped on Hiroshima.

External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop stressed ministers were “firmly committed to worldwide disarmament”.

Picture of the atomic bomb damage in Hiroshima. Picture: Hulton Archive/Getty

Picture of the atomic bomb damage in Hiroshima. Picture: Hulton Archive/Getty

Nuclear weapons were used for the first time when the US dropped a bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6 1945. Three days later, another was used on Nagasaki.

The two attacks, which took place towards the end of the Second World War, remain the only use of nuclear weapons in warfare.

Ms Hyslop, who visited Nagasaki last month during a trip to Japan, will scatter flower petals on a pond outside the Scottish Parliament in an act of remembrance.

She said: “Just over a month ago, I stood at the hypocentre of the explosion in Nagasaki.

People carry lanterns past the Atomic Bomb Dome at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Picture: Getty

People carry lanterns past the Atomic Bomb Dome at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Picture: Getty

“Even standing beside the physical scars, it is impossible to imagine the destructive power of a nuclear bomb.

“The shadows of men, women and even children marked the city, memories of ordinary innocent lives burnt into rock.

“Why anyone would consider this to be an appropriate response today is equally hard to imagine.

“My thoughts today are with the generations of Japanese people who have had to come to terms with the horrific effects of nuclear weapons.

“I admire greatly the compassion they have shown in moving forward. My visit to Nagasaki left me profoundly saddened and in no doubt about the horror of nuclear weapons.”

She added: “Scotland stands with Japan on the issue of nuclear disarmament. We oppose the continuation and the proposed renewal of the UK’s Trident nuclear weapon system, and the Scottish Government is firmly committed to worldwide disarmament.

“We strongly believe that the way forward is to create the conditions for peace through dialogue as well as action.

“The successor Trident system is estimated to cost a staggering £100 billion over its lifetime - money that could be far better spent on initiatives to support our people and our economy. As a nation, Scotland opposes nuclear weapons.

“Both the Scottish Parliament and the overwhelming majority of Scottish MPs are opposed to its replacement, it’s time the UK Government listened to what the people are saying.”

More than 20 events are taking place throughout Scotland to mark the 70th anniversary of the bombings.

As part of the commemorations, Trident Ploughshares activists are planning to fast from Thursday through to Sunday.

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