A bell tolled to mark a moment of silence while people joined hands in prayer as tens of thousands marked the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on Monday.
Ageing survivors, relatives, government officials and foreign delegates attended an annual ceremony at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park commemorating the US bombing of the city nearly seven decades ago, as a rising tide of anti-nuclear sentiment swells in post-Fukushima Japan.
“On this day, in this city, let me proclaim again: there must never be another nuclear attack — never,” said Angela Kane, UN high representative for disarmament affairs, reading a message from Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
“Such weapons have no legitimate place in our world. Their elimination is both morally right and a practical necessity in protecting humanity.”
An American B-29 bomber named Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on August 6, 1945, turning the western Japanese city into a nuclear inferno and killing an estimated 140,000 in the final chapter of World War II.