Japan commemorates the 72nd anniversary of the atomic bombing on Hiroshima

Peace activists will remember Hiroshima, Nagasaki bombings, call for ban on nuclear weapons

Tokyo announced its surrender in World War II on Aug 15, 1945.

Japan yesterday marked 72 years since the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, with the nation's traditional contradictions over atomic weapons again coming into focus. Bradford peace campaigner Brenda Thomson laid a wreath at the Hiroshima and Nagasaki memorial stone in Bradford during the vigil.

Last month, the United Nations reached its first agreement to ban nuclear weapons.

On the 6 August 1945, 140,000 people were killed after the USA dropped an atomic bomb in the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

Aerial photographs from 1945 from the US Strategic Bombing Survey show the city of Nagasaki before and after the atomic bomb was dropped on the city August 9 1945. Japan is the only country to have suffered atomic attacks, in 1945.

The anniversary comes amid growing concern in Japan over North Korea's recent missile tests, and mounting tension over its nuclear programme.




A minute of silence was observed in the city to remember the dead and a call to eliminate nuclear weapons.

The United Nations issued a statement Sunday urging countries to continue working toward a nuclear weapons-free world.

On Sunday, U.N. Secretary General António Guterres issued a message calling for the United States and other nuclear-armed countries to do more to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

Sunday evening in Watertown, activists will float candles and call for a nuclear-free world.

But many Americans believe they hastened the end to a bloody conflict and ultimately saved lives on both sides, thus justifying the bombings.

"The states possessing nuclear weapons have a special responsibility to undertake concrete and irreversible steps in nuclear disarmament", Guterres stressed, warning against the continued presence of some 15,000 nuclear weapons and unsafe rhetoric regarding their use.

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