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Hiroshima vows nuke ban at 77th memorial amid Russia threat

TOKYO (AP) Hiroshima on Saturday remembered the atomic bombing 77 years back as officials, like the head of the US, warned against nuclear weapons buildup so when fears grow of another such attack amid Russias war on Ukraine.

Nuclear weapons are nonsense. They guarantee no safety only death and destruction, said U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who joined the prayer at the Hiroshima Peace Park.

Three quarters of a hundred years later, we should ask what weve learned from the mushroom cloud that swelled above this city in 1945, he said.

AMERICA dropped the worlds first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, destroying the town and killing 140,000 people. It dropped another bomb three days down the road Nagasaki, killing another 70,000. Japan surrendered on Aug. 15, ending World War II and Japans nearly half-century of aggression in Asia.

Fears of a third atomic bombing have become amid Russias threats of nuclear attack since its war on Ukraine began in February.

Crises with grave nuclear undertones are spreading fast in the centre East and the Korean Peninsula, Guterres said. We have been one mistake, one misunderstanding, one miscalculation from Armageddon.

Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui, in his peace declaration, accused Putin of using their own people as instruments of war and stealing the lives and livelihoods of innocent civilians internationally.

Russias war on Ukraine is helping build support for nuclear deterrence, Matsui said, urging the planet never to repeat the mistakes that destroyed his city nearly eight decades ago.

On Saturday, attendees including government leaders and diplomats observed an instant of silence with the sound of a peace bell at 8: 15 a.m., enough time once the U.S. B-29 dropped the bomb on the town. About 400 doves, considered symbols of peace, were released.

Guterres met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida following the ceremony and raised alarm on the global retreat in nuclear disarmament, stressing the significance for Japan, the worlds only nation to possess suffered nuclear attacks, to take leadership in your time and effort, Japans Foreign Ministry said.

Kishida escorted Guterres in the peace museum, where both folded an origami crane symbolic of peace and nuclear weapons abolition.

Russia and its own ally Belarus weren’t invited to the years peace memorial. Russian Ambassador to Japan Mikhail Galuzin on Thursday offered flowers at a memorial epitaph in the park and told reporters his country could not use nuclear weapons.

The planet continues to handle threats from nuclear weapons, Kishida said at the memorial.

I have to raise my voice to interest the people all over the world that the tragedy of nuclear weapons use shouldn’t be repeated, he said. Japan will walk its path toward a global without nuclear weapons, regardless of how narrow, steep or difficult which may be.

Kishida, who’ll host several Seven summit meeting next May in Hiroshima, said he hoped to talk about his pledge with other G7 leaders prior to the peace monument to unite them to safeguard peace and international order in line with the universal values of freedom and democracy.

Matsui criticized nuclear weapon states, including Russia, for not taking steps despite their pledge to follow obligations beneath the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Instead of treating a global without nuclear weapons such as a distant dream, they must be taking concrete steps toward its realization, he said.

Critics say Kishidas require a nuclear-free world is hollow because Japan remains beneath the U.S. nuclear umbrella and continues to boycott the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Kishida said the treaty, which lacks the U.S. along with other nuclear powers, isn’t realistic right now and that Japan must bridge the divide between non-nuclear and nuclear powers.

Many survivors of the bombings have lasting injuries and illnesses caused by the explosions and radiation exposure and face discrimination in Japan.

The federal government begun to provide medical support to certified survivors in 1968 after a lot more than 20 years of effort by them.

By March, 118,935 survivors, whose average age now exceeds 84, are certified as qualified to receive government medical support, based on the Health insurance and Welfare Ministry. But numerous others, including those that say these were victims of the black rain that fell outside the initially designated areas, remain without support.

Aging survivors, known in Japan as hibakusha, continue steadily to push for a nuclear ban and desire to convince younger generations to become listed on the movement.

Guterres had a note for younger people: Finish the task that the hibakusha have begun. Carry their message forward. Within their names, within their honor, within their memory we should act.

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