Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Saturday, August 7, 1999 Published at 02:42 GMT 03:42 UK


World: Asia-Pacific

No more Hiroshima earrings

Fat Man, left, and Little Boy stirred Japanese emotions

An American museum has stopped selling earrings in the shape of the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

The director of the National Atomic Museum in New Mexico said the decision had been made because of sensitivity around the current anniversaries of the attacks.

Anti-nuclear activists in Japan were outraged when they saw the miniature replicas advertised on the museum's Internet site.

The museum said the earrings sold out on Friday and it had no plans to restock them.

Ceremonies were held in Hiroshima on Friday to mark the 54th anniversary of the attack, which killed some 140,000 people out of an estimated population of 350,000.

A larger bomb dropped on Nagasaki three days later effectively sealed Japanese surrender and ended World War II.

Internet sales

The US National Atomic Museum in Albuquerque had sold the "Little Boy" and "Fat Man" earrings, named after the bombs dropped on the two cities, at $20 for a pair of one of each.


[ image: Thousands of people marked the anniversary]
Thousands of people marked the anniversary
In the "Museum Exclusives" section of its Website, it boasted: "Where else will you find a pair of Fat Man and Little Boy earrings?"

"It's blasphemy," Kazuya Yasuda, an official at the Japan Council Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs, said.

"It just debases the feelings of those who suffered from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings."

Japanese anti-nuclear activists were also outraged, describing the sale as "unforgiveable".


[ image:  ]
"We're very angry," said Naomi Kishimoto of Hiroshima's anti-nuclear group Gensuikyo.

"It's not the sort of thing you should be hanging from your ears or using to decorate your desk."

A spokesman for the museum, which is owned by the US Department of Energy but run by a subsidiary of defence company Lockheed Martin, said the earrings commemorated the work of scientists that helped save the lives of American troops.

Anniversary

An estimated 50,000 people gathered along with Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi in Hiroshima's central Peace Park, near the site of the 1945 explosion.

People made offerings of flowers and lit candles, while others brought thousands of folded paper cranes as a symbol of peace.

Mr Obuchi warned of the obstacles to global nuclear disarmament.



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©




Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia



Relevant Stories

09 Aug 98 | Asia-Pacific
Japan blasts N-tests

06 Aug 98 | Asia-Pacific
Hiroshima plea to India and Pakistan





Internet Links


Hiroshima Archive

The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs policies on nuclear disarmament

National Atomic Museum


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Indonesia rules out Aceh independence

DiCaprio film trial begins

Millennium sect heads for the hills

Uzbekistan voices security concerns

From Business
Chinese imports boost US trade gap

ICRC visits twelve Burmese jails

Falintil guerillas challenge East Timor peackeepers

Malaysian candidates named

North Korea expels US 'spy'

Holbrooke to arrive in Indonesia

China warns US over Falun Gong

Thais hand back Cambodian antiques