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People pray for atomic bomb victims

People pray for atomic bomb victims in front of the cenotaph for the victims of the 1945 atomic bombing, at Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, western Japan, August 6, 2017, on the 72nd anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city. (Photo: Kyodo via Reuters)

Japan marks the 72nd anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima

Japan on Sunday marked 72 years since the world’s first nuclear attack, on Hiroshima, with the nation’s traditional contradictions over atomic weapons again coming into focus.

The anniversary came after Japan sided last month with nuclear powers Britain, France and the U.S. to dismiss a U.N. treaty banning atomic weapons, which was rejected by critics for ignoring the reality of security threats such as North Korea.

Japan is the only country to have suffered atomic attacks, in 1945.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, speaking at the annual ceremony at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park near the ground zero, said Japan hoped to push for a world without nuclear weapons in a way that all countries can agree.

“For us to truly pursue a world without nuclear weapons, we need participation from both nuclear-weapons and non-nuclear-weapons states,” Abe said in his speech at the annual ceremony.

“Our country is committed to leading the international community by encouraging both sides” to make progress toward abolishing nuclear arms, Abe added without directly referring to the U.N. treaty. (AFP)

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