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Hiroshima marks 75th anniversary of atomic bomb catastrophe

People in Hiroshima marked the 75th anniversary of the US atomic bombing of the western Japan city on Thursday. (AFP)
People in Hiroshima marked the 75th anniversary of the US atomic bombing of the western Japan city on Thursday. (AFP)
People in Hiroshima marked the 75th anniversary of the US atomic bombing of the western Japan city on Thursday. (AFP)
People in Hiroshima marked the 75th anniversary of the US atomic bombing of the western Japan city on Thursday. (AFP)
People in Hiroshima marked the 75th anniversary of the US atomic bombing of the western Japan city on Thursday. (AFP)
People in Hiroshima marked the 75th anniversary of the US atomic bombing of the western Japan city on Thursday. (AFP)
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06 Aug 2020 11:08:23 GMT9
06 Aug 2020 11:08:23 GMT9

HIROSHIMA: People in Hiroshima marked the 75th anniversary of the US atomic bombing of the western Japan city on Thursday, mourning for the victims and praying for peace.

In the Peace Declaration during the annual Peace Memorial Ceremony, held at the city’s Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui urged the Japanese government to enter into the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty, in order to “enhance its role as mediator between the nuclear weapon and nonnuclear weapon states.”

“As the only nation to suffer a nuclear attack, Japan must persuade the global public to unite with the spirit of Hiroshima,” the mayor stressed.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in his speech that the government will maintain its three nonnuclear principles and lead the international community toward the goal of realizing a world without nuclear weapons.

The ceremony’s participants, including representatives from 83 countries and the European Union, offered one-minute silent prayers at 8:15 a.m. (11:15 p.m. Wednesday GMT), the time when the atomic bomb was dropped on Aug. 6, 1945.

In the declaration, Matsui stressed that the world should also unite to overcome the current threat of the novel coronavirus.

“Hiroshima is what it is today because our predecessors cared about each other; they stood together through their ordeal,” the mayor noted.

“Hiroshima considers it our duty to build in civil society a consensus that the people of the world must unite to achieve nuclear weapons abolition and lasting world peace,” he added.

Matsui called on world leaders to “continue constructive dialogue toward a security system free from reliance on nuclear weapons.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres gave a video message saying that “the only way to totally eliminate nuclear risk is to totally eliminate nuclear weapons.”

During the ceremony, Matsui and two hibakusha relatives placed in the Cenotaph for the Victims of the Atomic Bomb documents listing the names of 4,943 atomic bombing-affected people whose deaths were confirmed over the last year. There are a total of 324,129 victims’ names in the cenotaph now.

Across the country, meanwhile, there were 136,682 people registered as hibakusha as of the end of March, with their average age topping 83.

Due to the coronavirus epidemic, this year’s peace ceremony was scaled down, with the number of participants significantly reduced.

JIJI Press

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