Japan marks 70th anniversary of Hiroshima bombing; Abe says it has become a city of culture, prosperity
 Source : Agencies  Date : 06-Aug-2015

Tokyo, August 6: Japan, on Thursday commemorated the 70th anniversary of the first atomic bomb being dropped by a US aircraft in Hiroshima and a second one on Nagasaki three days later. This incident in history is credited with bringing to an end World War II but claimed the lives of at least 140,000 people in the city.  Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attended the ceremony at Hiroshima's memorial park. Residents from the Japanese cities came ahead where thousands of lanterns were released on the city's Motoyasu River.

Tens of thousands of attendants stood for a minute of silence at 8:30 a.m. at the ceremony in Hiroshima's peace park near the epicenter of the 1945 attack, marking the moment of the atomic blast.

Then dozens of doves were released as a symbol of peace.The anniversary comes as Japan is divided over Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push to pass unpopular legislation to expand the country's military role internationally, a year after his Cabinet's decision to loosen Japan's war-renouncing constitution by adopting a new interpretation of it.
Addressing 40,000 people who attended the c commemoration ceremony at Hiroshima's peace park near the epicentre of the 1945 attack, Abe called for worldwide nuclear disarmament and said that atomic bomb not only killed thousands of people in Hiroshima but also caused unspeakable suffering to survivors.

Abe said that as the sole country to face a nuclear attack, Japan had a duty to push for the elimination of nuclear weapons. He pledged to promote the cause through international conferences to be held in Hiroshima later this month.

Atomic bombing of Hiroshima in Numbers:                              

  • 350,000 of the opulation of Hiroshima before the bombing, of which 40,000 were military personnel.
  • 140,000 was the estimated death toll, including those who died from radiation-related injuries and illness through Dec. 31, 1945.
  • 300,000 total death toll to date, including those who have died from radiation-related cancers.
  • The population of Hiroshima today is 1.2 million.
  • 31,500 height in feet (9,600 meters) from which the B-29 Enola Gay dropped the “Little Boy” bomb.
  • 2,000 height in feet (600 meters) at which the bomb exploded 43 seconds after it was dropped.
  • 3,000-4,000 was the estimated temperature in Celsius (5,400-7,200 Fahrenheit) at ground zero seconds after the detonation
  • 45 Minutes after the 8:15 a.m. blast that a “black rain” of highly radioactive particles started falling.
  • 10 million Origami (folded paper) cranes that decorate the Children’s Peace Monument in Hiroshima each year.
  • 3-6 weeks after the bombing during which most of the victims with severe radiation symptoms died    

"Today Hiroshima has been revived," Prime Minister Abe said, "and has become a city of culture and prosperity. "Seventy years on I want to reemphasise the necessity of world peace." Abe and Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matusi were joined by US Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy for the official ceremony of remembrance on Thursday, which included silent prayers, the release of doves and a declaration of peace.

A US B-29 bomber called the Enola Gay dropped the uranium bomb, exploding some 600m (1,800ft) above the city, at around 08:10 on 6 August 1945.

These images of Hiroshima, 70 years after the attack show how the city has regained its spirit

On that day alone, at least 70,000 people are believed to have been killed. Many more died of horrific injuries caused by radiation poisoning in the days, weeks and months that followed.

"To coexist we must abolish the... ultimate inhumanity that is nuclear weapons. Now is the time to start taking action," he said in his annual speech. Later in the day, thousands of paper lanterns will be released on the city's Motoyasu River, symbolising the journey to the afterlife of those who died.

People across Japan observed a minute's silence to mark the anniversary. In Hiroshima a bell tolled at 08:15 local time, when the US aircraft dropped the bomb that flattened the city centre. Matsui described nuclear weapons as an "absolute evil" while urging the world to put an end to them forever.