Japan marks 73rd anniversary of Hiroshima bombing

"That is precisely why we must continue talking about Hiroshima", Matsui said.

Before he came to Dhaka last September as ambassador of Japan, many Japanese friends and colleagues who had special bond with Bangladesh told him that quite a lot of Bangladeshi people knew the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; and some Bangladeshi organisations held memorial events every year on the day of tragedies.

Some 50,000 people attended the ceremony on August 6, including hibakusha, or survivors of the atomic bombing, people who lost their loved ones to the USA attack in 1945, and ambassadors and representatives from 85 countries worldwide as well as the European Union.

The anniversary comes amid hopes to denuclearise North Korea after its pledge to do so at the Singapore summit in June.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, attending the memorial ceremony, pledged that Japan will try to bridge nuclear powers and non-nuclear states and lead worldwide efforts.

On July 7, 2017 the United Nations adopted the first legally binding global agreement to prohibit nuclear weapons titled the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

In his speech at Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park, Mayor Kazumi Matsui said certain nations were "rekindling tensions that had eased with the end of the Cold War", although he did not identify those nations.

The attack on Hiroshima, 700 kilometres west of Tokyo, in the closing days of World War II ushered in the nuclear age.

Over two years, the group of Japanese high school students has been painstakingly producing a five-minute virtual reality experience that recreates the sights and sounds of Hiroshima before, during and after the US dropped an atomic bomb on the city 73 years ago.

Yuhi Nakagawa, 18, said, "When I was creating the buildings before the atomic bomb fell and after, I saw many photos of buildings that were gone".

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.

"Maintaining its three nonnuclear principles, our country is determined to make strenuous efforts to serve as a bridge between both parties", Abe said.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in his message during the ceremony that Hiroshima's legacy is one of "resilience" and sought continued moral support from the hibakusha survivors for efforts in promoting the ban of nuclear weapons.

Atomic bomb survivors and many visitors prayed for peace at the Peace Memorial Park near Ground Zero under the scorching summer heat. The bombings claimed 1 Lakh 40 thousand lives in Hiroshima and 74 thousand in Nagasaki.

His call however highlighted Japan's contradictory relationship with nuclear weapons.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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