People in Japan are taking a moment to pause and remember the victims of a catastrophic event — 75 years ago, an American warplane dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. An estimated 140,000 people lost their lives by the end of the year.
The city fell silent at 8:15 am, the exact moment when the US bomb struck the city.
Despite following safety measures in place because of the coronavirus pandemic, people haven't been prevented from reflecting on the tragedy and praying for world peace.
A 91-year-old survivor of the bombing said: "When you think about that time, it's tragic and cruel. This kind of tragedy should never happen again."
A man in his 50s said: "My parents are survivors. I've come here to tell victims that I will never forget them even though I haven't been able to do anything to abolish nuclear weapons."
About 800 people attended the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony including survivors of the bombing, known as "hibakusha". They are getting older with their average age now over 83.
Representatives of 80 countries were also there. Due to the pandemic, the number of people attending the event was limited to less than one-tenth of the usual amount.
Hiroshima Mayor Matsui Kazumi placed a list of the victims in a cenotaph. It included the names of 4,943 survivors who died over the past year. As many as 324,129 people are now commemorated in the monument.
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has maintained Japan will not join a UN treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons — he has said the treaty's goal of nuclear abolishment is the same as Japan's, but their approaches are different.
"While adhering to the Three Non-Nuclear Principles, our nation will serve as a bridge between countries that take different stands and persist in urging dialogue and prompting them into action, Abe said.
"By doing so, we will lead efforts made by the global community to realise a world without nuclear weapons."