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Anti-war messages lit up in front of Hiroshima A-Bomb Dome amid Russian invasion of Ukraine

Messages in English and Russian against war and calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons are illuminated by the pale lights of candles in Hiroshima's Naka Ward on March 8, 2022. (Mainichi/Isamu Gari)

HIROSHIMA -- Members of a citizens' group for nuclear abolition and others lit approximately 1,000 candles in front of Hiroshima's Atomic Bomb Dome to protest Russia's invasion of Ukraine and to express their opposition to war and nuclear weapons.

    Candles lined up in the darkness illuminated the English words "No War" and "No Nukes" and the Russian words "Het Bonhe" (no war), and about 100 participants observed a moment of silence for the victims of the invasion and for the victims of nuclear weapons.

    A woman lights a candle at a gathering in Hiroshima's Naka Ward on March 8, 2022, to protest Russia's invasion of Ukraine. (Mainichi/Isamu Gari)

    Haruko Moritaki, 83, an adviser to the Hiroshima Alliance for Nuclear Weapons Abolition, referred to Russian President Vladimir Putin's remarks that could be interpreted as suggesting he would use nuclear weapons, and the Russian military's attack on a nuclear power plant, and said, "Hiroshima has felt the horror of nuclear weapons first hand. I never thought that what we have appealed for would become a reality in this way," expressing regret. She appealed strongly for "an immediate end to war and to stop nuclear intimidation."

    Nemat Mirza, 23, who is from Azerbaijan, one of the countries that made up the former Soviet Union, said, "I also served in the military for one year. War creates orphans and destroys the daily lives of citizens. I hope the invasion will stop as soon as possible."

    (Japanese original by Isamu Gari, Hiroshima Bureau)

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