geographical name

City (pop., 2003 est.: 418,523), western Kyushu, Japan. It is a seaport and commercial city at the mouth of the Urakami River, where it empties into Nagasaki Harbour. It was the only Japanese port open to foreign trade in 1639–1859. After the Portuguese and English traders were expelled in 1639, only the Dutch, Chinese, and Koreans were allowed into the harbour. In the 19th century it was the winter port of the Russian Asiatic fleet (until 1903). It became a major shipbuilding centre in the early 20th century. In 1945 the second atomic bomb attack was carried out there by the U.S. during World War II; some 40,000 were killed immediately, up to 40,000 more died soon after, and many more were injured. The bomb also destroyed about 40% of the city's buildings. Nagasaki has been rebuilt and is a spiritual centre for movements to ban nuclear weapons.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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