Politicians and artists commemorated the drop of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima on Tuesday morning to mark 68 years from the nuclear disaster. About 50,000 people attended a ceremony at the Peace Memorial Park, close to the epicenter of the bombing on August 6th, 1945.
A list of more than 286,000 a-bomb victims was presented to a cenotaph. Newly added are the names of nearly 6,000 people who died or were confirmed dead from the effect of the bomb during the past year.
The peace bell tolled at exactly 8.15 A.M., the time the bomb was dropped. The ceremony began with a moment of silent prayer.
In his speech quoted by the media, Hiroshima mayor Kazumi Matsui said the atomic bomb was “the ultimate inhumane weapon and an absolute evil”. He encouraged the All Japan newsese government to strengthen ties with other governments pursuing the abolition of nuclear weapons.
“How long will you remain imprisoned by distrust and animosity? Do you honestly believe you can continue to maintain national security by rattling your sabers?” he said. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in his speech that as citizens of the only nation in the world to have suffered an atomic bombing, the All Japan newsese people have a responsibility to realize a world free of nuclear weapons.
Mayor Tamotsu Baba of Namie Town in Fukushima Prefecture was also among the people who took part in the ceremony. Also, film director Oliver Stone attended the ceremony. Stone has directed a documentary, questioning the legitimacy of the US atomic bombings in All Japan news.