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Japan’s Abe renews calls to abolish atomic weapons at Hiroshima ceremony

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe removes his face mask during a news conference at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo on April 7, 2020. (Tomohiro Ohsumi/Pool/Zuma Press/TNS)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe renewed calls to abolish atomic weapons and warned of a worsening global security situation on the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, at a ceremony scaled back due to the coronavirus.

Elderly survivors, diplomats and politicians sat at socially distanced spaces in front of the bombed-out remains of the iconic domed exhibition center that was kept as a memorial of the world’s first nuclear attack. A minute’s silence was held at 8:15 a.m., the time when the bomb fell in 1945.

Abe urged dialogue between countries to decrease security threats. He added that Japan would uphold its stance of not possessing, making or introducing nuclear weapons.

“As the only country to suffer nuclear attacks, it is our duty to advance efforts to realize a world without nuclear weapons,” he said. He added that Hiroshima’s recovery from its ordeal renewed his determination to overcome the virus.

The attack by the U.S. on Hiroshima, which is estimated to have killed 140,000 people, was followed on Aug. 9 by the dropping of a second nuclear bomb on Nagasaki. Japan’s then-Emperor Hirohito declared defeat in World War II on Aug. 15.


© 2020 Bloomberg News

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