Nagasaki mayor urges end of nuclear arms

Aug. 10, 2012 at 5:53 PM

NAGASAKI, Japan, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- Nagasaki, Japan, Mayor Tomihisa Taue called for the end of nuclear weapons during a ceremony on the 67th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of the city.

Taue called on the international community to act by "taking the first concrete steps toward concluding the Nuclear Weapons Convention," Kyodo reported Friday.

The appeal was included in a Peace Declaration that Taue read Thursday at the city's Peace Park that was attended by U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos and representatives from about 40 countries.

Taue also called on the Japanese government to address the "serious challenge" North Korea's nuclear capability presents.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Japan has a "responsibility" to encourage countries to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.

Attendees observed a moment of silence at 11:02 a.m., when the atomic bomb detonated above Nagasaki. Up to 80,000 people were killed in the blast or had died from radiation-related illnesses by the end of 1945.

The United States, drawn into the war by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, dropped the atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima in the final stages of World War II.

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