Hiroshima marks 73rd anniversary of atomic bombing in WWII

Hiroshima marks 73rd anniversary of atomic bombing in WWII

Hiroshima marks 73rd anniversary of atomic bombing in WWII

Tens of thousands of people gathered to honour the victims at an annual memorial ceremony held in the city.

Hiroshima marked the 73rd anniversary of the US atomic bombing on Monday, with its mayor making a fresh call for a world without nuclear weapons through dialogue, but stopping short of explicitly urging Japan to join a global nuclear weapons ban treaty.

In a speech during the ceremony, Abe said, "I'm determined to bridge nuclear and nonnuclear weapon states and lead global efforts".

He said to achieve "a world without nuclear weapons" people must understand how nuclear bombs can cause tragic results and with this as the starting point, it's necessary to obtain the cooperation of countries with and without such weapons.

Some of the hibakusha, many now aged over 82, have been working with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons to help a treaty to be adopted by the United Nations to ban nuclear weapons. U.S. Ambassador to Japan William F. Hagerty IV made his first appearance at the ceremony since he was sworn in for the current post in July of previous year.

"Atomic bombs were created by the evil ideas of human beings", said Sunao Tsuboi, the 93-year-old head of one of the groups of those who survived the USA atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, in the closing days of World War II.

In Friday, Aug. 8, 2018, photo, Namio Matsura, 17-year-old member of the computation skill research club at the Fukuyama Technical High School, watches Hiroshima city before atomic bomb fell in virtual reality experience at the high school in Hiroshima, western Japan.

Pigeons fly over the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, Japan, on August 6, 2018. "That is precisely why we must continue talking about Hiroshima", Matsui said.

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The group played a key role in campaigning for the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which was approved by the United Nations in July past year.

The anniversary comes amid hopes to denuclearize North Korea after President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made vague aspirational statements of denuclearizing the peninsula when they met in Singapore in June.

"Certain countries are blatantly proclaiming self-centred nationalism and modernising their nuclear arsenals, rekindling tensions that had eased with the end of the Cold War", Matsui said, without identifying the nations.

But as with years past and, perhaps, for those in the future, while Japan has a tendency to focus exclusively on the inward tragedy that nuclear and chemical warfare has inflicted on it, many experts on the matter hope that Japan will also take the time to remember that its own involvements in World War II had also brought immeasurable suffering.

But in order to bring this treaty into effect, 50 nations must ratify it, of which only 14 have done so.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the anniversary event.

U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in his message the legacy of Hiroshima is one of "resilience" and sought continued moral support from hibakusha survivors.

In Ashland Monday morning, a brief ceremony marked with the sound of a gong signaled the beginning of a four-day ceremony and the moment when the first of two atomic bombs exploded onto the world stage.

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