A solitary bell rang out in a prayer for peace as Nagasaki marked the 68th anniversary of the death of 70,000 people when the US Air Force dropped an atomic bomb on the city.
Three days earlier Hiroshima was wiped out by an atomic bomb
In a “peace declaration” the mayor called on the international community to be reminded of the suffering caused by the bombings.
Meanwhile in Paris about 50 anti nuclear activists gathered at a peace memorial near the Eiffel tower to commemorate the anniversary of the massive blast that led to the surrender of Japan and ended World War II.
Activists carried banners calling for the abolition of nuclear arms in half a dozen different languages.
“Over 200,000 people died in the minutes and hours after the explosions. Even today in Japan, the descendants of those who survived Hiroshima and Nagasaki, still have health problems,” said Patrice Bouveret, director of the French NGO The Arms Observatory, which campaigns for global nuclear disarmament.