Japan marks 77th anniversary of Hiroshima atomic bombing

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Japan marks 77th anniversary of Hiroshima atomic bombing

Japan is marking the 77th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, which killed tens of thousands of people in World War II.

This story contains graphic images that may disturb some readers.

On Saturday, bells were erected in Hiroshima, commemorating the world's first atomic bombing, with officials including the United Nations Secretary-General warning of a new arms race in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

On August 6th, 1945, the US b-29 warplane Enola Gay dropped a bomb nicknamed Little Boy and obliterated the city, which had an estimated population of 350,000.

Estimates of how many people died in the following months range between 90,000 and 166,000.

The bomb would claim the lives of thousands more as the effects of radiation took their toll.

Some 70 per cent of the city's buildings were destroyed and another 7 per cent were severely damaged.

A second bomb in Nagasaki was detonated three days later, leading to an additional estimated 70,000 deaths.

Japan surrendered days later, on August 15, 1945, bringing the war to a close.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres joined the thousands packed into the Peace Park in the centre of the city to mark the anniversary of the bombing, only the second time a UN leader has taken part in the annual ceremony.

Three-quarters of a century later, we must ask what we've learned from the mushroom cloud that swelled above the city in 1945. Hiroshima mayor Kazumi Matsui, whose city did not invite the Russian ambassador to the ceremony this year, was more pointed and critical of Moscow's military actions in Ukraine.

In the Ukraine, the Russian leader, elected to protect the lives and property of his people, is using them as instruments of war and stealing the lives and livelihoods of civilians in a different country, he said.

The notion of peace depends on nuclear deterrence gains momentum around the world.

To accept the status quo and abandon the ideal of peace without military force is to threaten the very survival of the human race.