UN chief joins thousands to mark 77 years since Hiroshima atomic bomb

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UN chief joins thousands to mark 77 years since Hiroshima atomic bomb

On August 6, 2022, people gather to attend a memorial ceremony at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima to mark 77 years since the world's first atomic bomb attack. On Saturday, STR JIJI PRESS AFP TOKYO bells tolled in Hiroshima as the city marked the 77th anniversary of the world's first atomic bombing.

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 that killed 140,000 before the end of 1945, the second time that a UN Secretary General has taken part in the annual ceremony.

Guterres said that they guarantee no safety - only death and destruction.

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Three quarters of a century later, we must ask what we've learned from the mushroom cloud that swelled above the city in 1945. The notion of peace depends on nuclear deterrence gains momentum, according to Hiroshima mayor Kazumi Matsui. These errors betray humanity's determination to achieve a peaceful world free of nuclear weapons, as a result of our experiences of war. To accept the status quo and abandon the ideal of peace without military force is to threaten the very survival of the human race. On Aug 6th, 1945, the US B - 29 warplane Enola Gay dropped a bomb nicknamed Little Boy and obliterated the city with an estimated population of 350,000. Thousands more died of radiation-related illnesses later in life.

On Saturday, as the cicadas shrilled in the heavy summer air, the Peace Bell sounded and the crowd, including Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, observed a moment of silence at the exact time the bomb exploded.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres speaks at the annual memorial ceremony at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima on August 6, 2022, to mark 77 years since the world's first atomic bomb attack. PHILIP FONG AFP At the beginning of the year, the five nuclear-weapon states issued a joint statement: Nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought,'' Matsui added.

Kishida has chosen Hiroshima as the site of the Group of Seven summit next year and called for the world to abandon nuclear weapons.

He was the first Japanese leader to take part in the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons NPT earlier this week. Even though the current tough security environment, he said, he will continue towards the ideal of nuclear disarmament.

The US military's atomic bombing of Nagasaki took place on August 9, killing more than 75,000 people. Japan surrendered six days later, ending World War Two.