Mirarr solidarity message on 75th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear destruction
6th August 2020
The Mirarr traditional owners of lands in Australia’s Northern Territory, including parts of Kakadu National Park and the Ranger and Jabiluka uranium deposits, acknowledge with sadness the seventy-fifth anniversaries of the nuclear bomb attacks at Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6th and 9th.
Representing the Mirarr, Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation supports the “For the Hibakusha” events being run by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) to mark these significant dates. Mirarr send a message of solidarity to all hibakusha (survivors of nuclear weapons) in recognition of the strong links between Mirarr country and Japan and the great damage that the nuclear industry has inflicted on people and country over these 75 years.
“Our thoughts are with all hibakusha and their families as we commemorate these devastating events,” Gundjeihmi Aboriginal Corporation CEO Justin O’Brien said.
“There is a strong history between Mirarr country and Japan. Mining began at Ranger- against the wishes of the Mirarr – in large part because of agreements between the Australian and Japanese governments.”
In 1978 before Ranger mine opened, then Senior Traditional Owner Toby Gangale was worried the uranium from his land might be used in nuclear weapons, stating: “What if they make an atom bomb or something? Same as they did in Japan. Very dangerous.”
“On these sobering anniversaries the world is reminded of the indiscriminate death and destruction that nuclear weapons cause. In this context it is extraordinary that the Australian Government continues to resist signing the UN Treaty on the prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.” Mr O’Brien concluded