Hiroshima marks 73rd anniversary of atomic bombing

Hiroshima marks 73rd anniversary of atomic bombing

By transporting users back in time to the moment when a city was turned into a wasteland, the students at Fukuyama, within the Hiroshima prefecture, and their teacher hope to ensure nothing similar ever happens again.

In his speech at Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park, Mayor Kazumi Matsui said certain nations were "rekindling tensions that had eased with the end of the Cold War", although he did not identify those nations.

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.

The attack on Hiroshima, 700 kilometres west of Tokyo, in the closing days of World War II ushered in the nuclear age.

Abe said in an apparent reference to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons adopted last year that differences among countries about how to promote nuclear disarmament have become evident in recent years.

"Efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons must continue".

The skies over Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park were clear, just as they were on August 6, 1945, when an American B-29 bomber dropped its deadly payload on the port city dotted with military installations, ultimately killing 140,000 people.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says Japan is determined to lead efforts to bridge deepening rifts between countries that possess nuclear weapons and those that do not.

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Speaking at the ceremony, Abe said Japan will try to act as a bridge between nuclear powers and non-nuclear states and lead global efforts for a world without nuclear weapons. It was the first use of nuclear weapons against human beings.

To accelerate Japan's surrender in the WWII, the US forces dropped two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki respectively on August 6 and August 9, 1945.

As of March, the number of hibakusha stood at 154,859.

A man burns a stick of incense at the cenotaph dedicated to the victims of atomic bombing at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima.

"They can't imagine what it was like because it feels like a different world, but it's important to keep telling them", Makita said. But he knows its impact from his firsthand experience of taking care of his late mother who lost her eyesight and was severely burned due to the bombing.

Three days later, a second USA atomic bomb killed 70,000 people in Nagasaki.

His call however highlighted Japan's contradictory relationship with nuclear weapons.

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