Hiroshima has marked the 74rd anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city with its mayor renewing calls for eliminating such weapons and demanding Japan’s government do more.
Mayor Kazumi Matsui raised concerns in his peace address on Tuesday about the rise of self-centred politics in the world and urged leaders to steadily work toward achieving a world without atomic weapons.
“Around the world today, we see self-centred nationalism in ascendance, tensions heightened by international exclusivity and rivalry, with nuclear disarmament at a standstill,” Mr Matsui said in his peace declaration.
He urged the younger generations never to dismiss the atomic bombings and the war as a mere events of history, but think of them as their own, while calling on the world leaders to come visit the nuclear bombed cities to learn what happened.
Japan, which hosts 50,000 American troops and is protected by the US nuclear umbrella, has not signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, an inaction atomic bombing survivors and pacifist groups protest as insincere.
Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe acknowledged widening differences between nuclear and non-nuclear states.
He vowed to maintain Japan’s pacifist and nuclear nuclear-free principles, but did not promise to sign the treaty.
Survivors, their relatives and other participants marked the 8:15am blast with a minute of silence.
The Hiroshima anniversary ceremony came hours after North Korea launched suspected ballistic missiles in its fourth round of recent weapons demonstrations.
The US attack on Hiroshima on August 6 1945, killed 140,000 people.
The bomb dropped three days later on Nagasaki killed another 70,000 before Japan’s surrender ended the Second World War.