Thu, August 06, 2009
World > Asia-Pacific

Hiroshima mourns atomic bomb anniversary

2009-08-06 00:31:32 GMT2009-08-06 08:31:32 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

The model of Hiroshima after the atomic bomb blast is seen in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial in Hiroshima of Japan, on Aug. 5, 2009, one day prior to the 64th Hiroshima A-bombing anniversary. (Xinhua/Ren Zhenglai)

Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso delivers a speech in front of the Memorial Cenotaph during the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima, western Japan on Aug. 6, 2009. Hiroshima on Thursday mourned the 64th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city by U.S. forces during the World War II. (Xinhua/Ren Zhenglai)

Citizens visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima of Japan, on Aug. 5, 2009, one day prior to the 64th Hiroshima A-bombing anniversary. Hiroshima citizens held activities and events to mark the upcoming 64th Hiroshima A-bombing anniversary. (Xinhua/Ren Zhenglai)

A man visits the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima of Japan, on Aug. 5, 2009, one day prior to the 64th Hiroshima A-bombing anniversary. Hiroshima citizens held activities and events to mark the upcoming 64th Hiroshima A-bombing anniversary. (Xinhua/Ren Zhenglai)

A mother looks at the photo of Hiroshima after the atomic bomb blast with her daughter in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial in Hiroshima of Japan, on Aug. 5, 2009, one day prior to the 64th Hiroshima A-bombing anniversary. Hiroshima citizens held activities and events to mark the upcoming 64th Hiroshima A-bombing anniversary.(Xinhua/Ren Zhenglai)

TOKYO, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- Hiroshima on Thursday mourned the 64th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city by U.S. forces during the World War II.

Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba delivered a peace declaration, calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons by 2020.

"The hibakusha still suffer a hell that continues," said Akiba.

"The Japanese government should support hibakusha, including those who were victims of black rain and those who live overseas," he said.

It was reported Wednesday that the Japanese government aims to come to an agreement with all atomic bomb survivors who have sued the government for financial support to help them pay medical bills for illnesses related to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Akiba also said "The year 2020 is important as we want to enter a world without nuclear weapons. We call on the world to join forces with us to eliminate all nuclear weapons by 2020."

Referring to the movements such as the environmentalists, Akibasaid, "Global democracy that respects the will of the world and respects the power of the people has begun to grow."

"We have the power. We have the responsibility. We are the Obamajority. And we can abolish nuclear weapons. Yes we can," said the mayor.

On Wednesday, Akiba urged the people around the world to join the city's effort to abolish nuclear weapons in response to U.S. President Barack Obama's appeal for a world free of nuclear weapons.

During the 50-minute memorial ceremony, a moment of silence was observed at 8:15 a.m., the time the atomic bomb detonated over Hiroshima 64 years ago, killing nearly 100,000 people in a blink.

Also present at the ceremony was Prime Minister Taro Aso, who vowed to adhere to Japan's three antinuclear principles and called for an end to nuclear weapons.

In a speech following that of Akiba, Aso said, "Japan will maintain its three non-nuclear pledges of not possessing, not producing and not allowing nuclear weapons."

"The government will continue to do all it can to help survivors of the atomic bombings," he said.

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