Japanese mark 72nd anniversary of United States bombing of Nagasaki

North Korea Urges Japan Not To Follow US On 72nd Anniversary Of Nuclear Bombings

The fear of another nuclear bomb attack is growing on the 72nd anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, the city's mayor said, apparently referring to the North Korean nuclear threat in the region.

I appeal to all governments to follow your example and intensify their efforts to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons.

In Hiroshima's ceremony Sunday, Mayor Kazumi Matsui didn't demand Japan join the treaty but urged the government to do "everything in its power to bridge the gap between the nuclear weapons and non-nuclear weapons states, thereby facilitating its ratification".

The world's first atomic bomb, used on August 6, 1945, killed 140,000 people in Hiroshima.

"The Japanese people and the whole world clearly remember the awful disaster that hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives owing to the A-bombs the U.S. dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki", the Korean Central News Agency said in an article.

In a speech to mark the anniversary, Abe said that both nuclear and non-nuclear weapon states needed to work towards nuclear abolition.

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"The worldwide situation surrounding nuclear weapons is becoming increasingly tense", he continued.

He said Japan's absence even during diplomatic negotiations for the UN Nuclear Prohibition Treaty, adopted in July, is "incomprehensible to those of us living in the cities that suffered atomic bombings".

He read out the declaration at an annual memorial ceremony held at Nagasaki Peace Park that was attended by hibakusha atomic bomb survivors, bereaved families of victims and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The blasts also ushered in the Cold War era, a period of heightened tension between the West and the former Soviet Union.

"As long as nuclear weapons exist and policymakers threaten their use, their horror could leap into our present at any moment", the mayor said.

In May 2016, then US President Barack Obama made a visit to Hiroshima, but offered no apology for the US bombings.

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