Students attend a ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing at the Peace Momorial Park in Hiroshima, Japan, on August 6, 2015.
Doves were released following the memorial tribute and thousands of lanterns were then released into the city’s Motoyasu river.
Atom bomb survivors, Japanese officials and diplomats marked the 70th anniversary Thursday of the world’s first nuclear bomb attack on the western city of Hiroshima in the final days of World War II.
Matsui called on world leaders to abolish nuclear weapons, a cause he spends much of his time pursuing. They urged him to withdraw new legislation allowing the Japanese military to fight wars overseas for the first time since the end of WWII.
“People of the world, especially leaders of nuclear armed nations, please come to Hiroshima to contemplate peace in this, a bombed city”, said Kazumi Matsui, Hiroshima’s mayor.
Chinese scholars have accused Japan of violating the historic Potsdam Declaration that led to the surrender of Japanese forces in the Second World War.
“I am against war itself”, Matsuyama, now 86, said Thursday through a translator.
At a ceremony near the onetime industrial exhibition hall that has been preserved as a skeletal monument to the attack, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe renewed a long-standing Japanese pledge to seek worldwide elimination of nuclear weapons.
There were 90,000 buildings in Hiroshima before the bomb was dropped; only 28,000 remained after the bombing. The Hiroshima bombing and its aftermath ultimately claimed about 140,000 lives, helping to draw to a close the deadliest conflict in history and, for better or worse, usher in the atomic age.
The ceremony in Hiroshima was attended by U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy, U.S. Under Secretary for Arms Control and worldwide Security Rose Gottemoeller, as well as representatives from more than 100 other countries.
People pray of all faiths pray at a memorial in Hiroshima, Japan for the victims of the atomic bombing of the city by the United States and its allies in 1945. Theordore “Dutch” Van Kirk was the navigator on the Enola Gay, the B-29 that dropped the atomic bomb. Those who survived suffered from cancer and other diseases.
“You must never make Japan a country that repeats the same mistakes”, Yukio Yoshioka, an 86-year-old, told Mr. Abe yesterday, local media said.
However, since 1945, the planet has still been subjected to thousands of test detonations by the countries that have created their own weapons, 2,054 to be exact, at least until 1998.