Thursday, 6th August 2015
In General Japan News,
Japan remembers the Hiroshima atomic bombing 70 years on
A moment of silence was held at Hiroshima's peace park this morning (August 6th), to mark 70 years since the atomic bomb was dropped on the city.
Some 55,000 people gathered at 8.15am, the exact moment the nuclear age began on this date in 1945, reports The Financial Times.
In contrast to the Enola Gay US bomber that flew over the site back then, white doves were released into the sky and bells rang out across the area.
A symbolic gesture of leaving bamboo flasks of water at the site of the bomb's epicentre for those who died was carried out by a number of survivors and local officials.
Shinzo Abe, Japan's prime minister, told the gathered crowds that the country had "an important mission to bring about a world without nuclear weapons".
Next to address the audience was Kazumi Matsui, mayor of Hirozhima, who paid homage to the 140,000 people who died as a result of the bomb.
Many of these lives lost occurred in the initial blast, while others died in the following firestorm. A significant number of people passed away due to the radiation they were exposed to in the months and years after the incident.
Survivors of the bomb, who have been called hibakusha in Japan, recalled what they saw on that fateful day, with many having witnessed their parents and siblings dying in front of them.
Hiroshima saw the first nuclear bomb to be dropped, but just three days later, the city of Nagasaki was also destroyed.
Those travelling to Japan can visit the Hiroshima Peace Memorial to pay their respects of make a trip to the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum to find out more about the events that led up to the bombings and the effects felt for years afterwards.
Volunteer guides at Hiroshima give up their time freely to explain the impact of the atomic bomb 70 years ago.
Related news stories:
Aso speaks of leadership credentials (2nd September 2008)
Hiroshima increasingly popular with tourists (11th June 2014)
Obama's paper cranes to go on display at Hiroshima (8th June 2016)
Hiroshima to reinforce A-bomb dome (27th January 2014)