KYOTO — For the past 64 years the name “Hiroshima” has conjured a nightmare vision for all humanity: the unthinkable specter of instantaneous atomic annihilation. Only by personally visiting Hiroshima or Nagasaki, the two cities that have experienced atomic bombing, can one begin to grasp the threat posed by the world’s present arsenal of nuclear weapons.

Just one bomb, dubbed “Little Boy,” devastated Hiroshima in a split second. By comparison, the potential destructive power of the more than 20,000 nuclear warheads deployed or stockpiled today by the United States, Russia, France, Britain, China, Israel, India and Pakistan gives bizarre new meaning to the term “overkill” — and proliferation continues.

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