Japan Marks Hiroshima Bombing Anniversary
- August, 06, 2016 - 11:21
- World news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Japan Saturday marked 71 years since the city of Hiroshima was destroyed by a US atomic bomb, as its mayor urged the world to unite in abolishing nuclear weapons.
About 50,000 participants, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and representatives of more than 90 countries and regions, observed a minute's silence at the exact time the atrocity occurred some seven decades ago, AFP reported.
The annual ceremony came just months after Barack Obama became the first sitting US president to visit the western Japanese city, paying tribute to victims of the devastating bomb.
American B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped its deadly payload, dubbed "Little Boy," on Hiroshima at 8:15 a.m. local time on Aug. 6, 1945. Much of the city was incinerated by a wall of heat up to 4,000 C (7,232 F) – hot enough to melt steel – killing tens of thousands.
"(His visit) was the proof that Hiroshima's strong wish not to tolerate the 'absolute evil' was shared by President Obama," Hiroshima mayor Kazumi Matsui said.
The mayor urged the world to take action towards the abolition of "the ultimate form of inhumanity, united and with passion."
Obama offered no apology for the bombings, having insisted he would not revisit decisions made by then president Harry Truman.
Abe, after lying a wreath of flowers, reiterated Saturday that Tokyo will continue working to rid the world of nuclear weapons.
The bombing claimed the lives of 140,000 people. Some died immediately while others succumbed to injuries or radiation-related illnesses weeks, months and years later.
A second bomb destroyed the city of Nagasaki three days later. Japan announced its surrender in World War II on Aug. 15.
Many in Japan believe the attacks amount to war crimes and atrocities because they targeted civilians and due to the unprecedented destructive nature of the weapons.
However, many American officials believe they hastened the end of a bloody conflict, and ultimately saved lives, thus justifying the bombings.