- Japan is the only country in the world to have been attacked with nuclear weapons, therefore our mission is to try to create a world free of such weapons, said the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the memorial ceremony in Hiroshima today.
Tens of thousands of people gathered in Hiroshima today to mark that it has been 70 years since the United States dropped an atomic bomb over the Japanese city.
Many bowed their heads in silent prayer at 8:15 local time, the time when the bomb exploded in 1945.
Bells rang and flowers was placed in front of a memorial in the peace park.
Also present were Japan's leaders, survivors of the attack and a large number of foreign guests.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in his speech that nuclear weapons are inhumane.
Hiroshima's mayor described them as pure evil. He also advocated that all the world's nuclear weapons to be removed.
An estimated 140,000 people were killed by the bomb blast or by radiation injuries they received during the atomic attack on Hiroshima.
Hiroshima was chosen as the first target because it was a city that had important industrial and some military installations and a major military command center.
The city also had large stockpiles of military equipment.
US military leaders had set up several cities as possible targets, but Hiroshima was selected as the first.
US leaders have always maintained that it was necessary to use the newly developed atomic bomb to get Japan to capitulate quickly. Thus also American soldiers' lives would be spared.
But it is also been speculated if the US military wanted to see the effect of the new weapon in practice.
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