Saturday, August 06, 2016

Hiroshima mayor urges world leaders to follow Obama in visiting city

Hiroshima on Saturday marked the 71st anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing, with Mayor Kazumi Matsui calling on world leaders to follow up U.S. President Barack Obama's historic visit to the western Japan city in May with trips of their own and to do more to abolish nuclear weapons.

At a memorial ceremony held at the Peace Memorial Park near ground zero, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe echoed Matsui's call and also urged young people to visit to observe the harrowing reality of the atomic bombing, while reiterating Japan's role in combating nuclear proliferation as the only country to have suffered nuclear attacks.

A moment of silence was observed at 8:15 a.m., the time the atomic bomb exploded over Hiroshima at an altitude of about 600 meters, killing an estimated 140,000 people by the end of 1945.

A second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on Aug. 9 that year, and Japan surrendered six days later, ending the war.

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