Japan marks 73rd anniversary of atomic bombing of Hiroshima

Japan marks 73rd anniversary of atomic bombing of Hiroshima

Abe delivered an address at the Peace Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima on Monday, the anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of the city in 1945.

The mayor called on the Japanese government to lead the global community towards "dialogue and cooperation for a world without nuclear weapons".

When you pull on the virtual reality goggles, you're treated to a walk along the Motoyasu River and take in the city in the moments before the bomb hits.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose government has chosen not to participate in the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, said at the ceremony that Japan's responsibility was to bridge the gap between nuclear and non-nuclear nations.

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

More than 300,000 people across China were killed by Japan's biological weapons during WWII.

The 73rd anniversary comes after Pyongyang's promise of a complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula grabbed attention following the historic U.S.

Participants in Monday's ceremony - survivors, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and representatives from 80 countries - observed a minute's silence at 8:15 a.m., the moment when the USA dropped its payload on the unsuspecting population 73 years ago. The pact was adopted in July 2017.

Abe also noted that people have an obligation to continue telling future generations about the inhumane nature of nuclear weapons.

The mayor made the Peace Declaration before representatives from 85 countries and the European Union.

The final death toll is estimated at 140,000 and - along with the bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki three days later - ended Japan's involvement in the Second World War.

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

The role Japan can play as the only country to have suffered atomic bombing has come into sharper focus with the world still far from being nuclear-free. In order to gain cooperation from both sides, it is important for everyone to understand "the reality of the tragedy of nuclear attacks, " he said, and reiterated Japan's pledge to maintain it pacifist and non-nuclear principles.

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

Speakers include Michael Vaughn, a military veteran; Denise Donnell of the Just Communities of Arkansas organization; Tristan Norman, a Hendrix College student-delegate who visited Japan earlier this year; and Frank LeBlanc, pastor of Westover Hills Presbyterian Church.

Pigeons fly over the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, Japan, on August 6, 2018.

The bombings claimed the lives of 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 74,000 people in Nagasaki. "We were only told what we needed to know, and keep your mouth shut". "As long as there are countries possessing nuclear weapons, they can be used any time".