In a solemn ceremony Japan has marked the 62nd anniversary of Hiroshima’s atomic bombing. Thousands of elderly survivors, as well as children and dignitaries, attended the ceremony at the Peace Memorial Park where the bomb was dropped. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe apologized to the survivors for comments made by former Defence Minister Fumio Kyuma, who said “the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki could not be helped because they brought an end to the second World War”.
Abe pledged that he would abide by Japan’s non-nuclear policy banning the possession, production and import of nuclear arms. He said as Japan is the only country in history to have suffered an atomic bomb attack the Japanese government has a duty to work for the abolition of nuclear weapons. By the end of 1945 the atomic bomb had killed 140,000 people out of Hiroshima’s population of 350,000.
Thousands more later succumbed to related illnesses and injuries.