Hiroshima anniversary highlights contrasting nuclear views

An allied correspondent stands in the rubble in front of the shell of a building that once was a movie theater in Hiroshima Japan a month after the first atomic bomb ever used in warfare was dropped by the U.S. on Aug. 6 1945

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Three days later, the US dropped a second atomic bomb on another Japanese city, Nagasaki, effectively ending World War II.

The U.N. estimates nations around the world still have some 15,000 nuclear weapons in their arsenals.

Matsui was speaking at a ceremony here August 6 at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park to mark the 72nd anniversary of the city's destruction from atomic bombing.

"Our country is committed to leading the global community by encouraging both sides to make progress toward abolishing nuclear arms", Abe said in his speech at the annual ceremony at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park near the ground zero, reported AFP. Japan is the only country to have suffered atomic attacks, in 1945.

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"Here in Hiroshima city, I renew my pledge to do my utmost to realize the nuclear free world and the eternal peace", Abe said at the ceremony.

Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui on this occasion urged that the absolute evil of atomic weaponry be banished.

He referred to the adoption in July 2017 of the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons by United Nations member states as a positive development.

"Yet our dream of a world free of nuclear weapons remains far from a reality", he said.

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"The states possessing nuclear weapons have special responsibility to undertake concrete and irreversible steps on nuclear disarmament", Guterres stressed.

Pointing to Japan's failure to take part, Matsui said, "I call especially on the Japanese government to manifest the pacifism in our Constitution by doing everything in its power to bridge the gap between the nuclear-weapon and non-nuclear-weapon states".

Many in Japan feel the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki amounted to war crimes and atrocities because they targeted civilians, and also because of the unprecedented destructive nature of the weapons. OREPA has events each August remembering the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki near the end of World War II.

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