Japan marks 71st anniversary of atomic bombing of Hiroshima | News | DW | 06.08.2016
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Japan marks 71st anniversary of atomic bombing of Hiroshima

Japan has marked the 71st anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Its leaders called for a nuclear-weapons-free world and urged leaders to follow Obama and visit the bomb sites.

About 50,000 people attended the ceremony at Hiroshima's Peace Park near the bomb's epicenter on Saturday.

"[They need to have] the courage to escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without them," Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui said, quoting part of US President Barack Obama's speech in Hiroshima in May.

"We need to fill our policymakers with the passion to solidify this unity and create a security system based on trust and dialogue," he said. "To that end, I once again urge the leaders of all nations to visit the A-bombed cities."

Obama became the first sitting US president to pay tribute to those killed by the world's first atomic bomb, which was dropped by the US to force Japan's capitulation in World War II.

The mayor also cautioned Prime Minister Shinzo Abe against revising Japan's war-renouncing constitution to give more power to the Japanese military.

An atomic bomb code-named Little Boy dropped by the US B-29 bomber Enola Gay exploded above the center of Hiroshima at 8:15 am on August 6, 1945, killing 140,000 people. Three days later, a second atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki killed over 70,000 people.

jbh/rc (AP, dpa, AFP)

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