Japan marks 68th anniversary of Hiroshima bombing
HIROSHIMA, Japan (AP) – Japan marked the 68th anniversary on Tuesday of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima with a somber ceremony to honor the dead and pledges to seek to eliminate nuclear weapons.
Some 50,000 people stood for a minute of silence in Hiroshima’s peace park near the epicentre of the early morning blast on Aug 6, 1945, that killed up to 140,000 people. The bombing of Nagasaki three days later killed tens of thousands more, prompting
Japan’s surrender to the World War II Allies.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, among many dignitaries attending the event, said that as the sole country to face nuclear attack, Japan has the duty to seek to wipe out nuclear weapons.
The anniversary comes as Japan is torn over restarting nuclear power plants shut down since the massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011 damaged reactors at a plant in Fukushima, causing meltdowns. More than 100,000 people remain displaced
because of radioactivity near the plant. Mr Abe favours restarting plants under new safety guidelines, while many Japanese oppose such restarts.