Hiroshima marked the 73rd anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing on Monday, with its mayor making a fresh call for a world without nuclear weapons through dialogue, but stopping short of explicitly urging Japan to join a global nuclear weapons ban treaty.
Despite some expectations of progress toward nuclear disarmament in recent years, Mayor Kazumi Matsui warned of the re-emergence of tensions over nuclear weapons seen during the Cold War and sought rational actions by global leaders, KYODO NEWS reports.
If the human family forgets history or stops confronting it, we could again commit a terrible error," Matsui said at a memorial ceremony to remember the atomic bombing.
Japan needs to lead the international community toward "dialogue and cooperation for a world without nuclear weapons," the mayor said at the ceremony attended by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who later said his country's position not to join the treaty remains unchanged.
At the Peace Memorial Park, a moment of silence was observed at 8:15 a.m., when the "Little Boy" uranium-core atomic bomb dropped by a U.S. bomber exploded above Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. It killed an estimated 140,000 people by the end of that year.
The 73rd anniversary comes after Pyongyang's promise of a complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula grabbed attention following the historic U.S.-North Korean summit in June.
Expressing hope that the easing of tensions on the Korean Peninsula will continue through dialogue, Matsui called on global leaders to make an international treaty comprehensively prohibiting nuclear weapons a "milestone" toward the goal of ridding the world of nuclear arsenals.
Currently, more than 14,000 nuclear weapons are estimated to still exist in the world.
Source: Kazinform News Agency
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