Japan on Tuesday marked the 68th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima with a somber ceremony to honor the dead and pledges to seek to eliminate nuclear weapons.
Some 50,000 people stood for a minute of silence in Hiroshima’s peace park near the epicenter of the early morning blast on Aug 6, 1945, that killed up to 140,000 people. The bombing of Nagasaki three days later killed tens of thousands more, prompting Japan’s surrender to the World War II Allies.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, among many dignitaries attending the event, said that as the sole country to face nuclear attack, Japan has the duty to seek to wipe out nuclear weapons.
“On this very morning 68 years ago, a single bomb deprived well more than 100,000 people of their precious lives,” Abe said. “It destroyed some 70,000 buildings and swept away the entire area through its hellish fires and its blast, turning the area to ruins. Those who survived were forced to endure unspeakable hardships of illness and disability and tribulations in their daily lives….