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Nagasaki marks 76th anniversary of U.S. atomic bomb during WWII

By Zarrin Ahmed
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Nagasaki marks 76th anniversary of U.S. atomic bomb during WWII
People observe a moment of silence during a ceremony at Peace Park in Nagasaki, Japan, on Monday to mark the 76th anniversary of the atomic bombing during World War II on August 9, 1945. Photo by Jiji Press/EPA-EFE

Aug. 9 (UPI) -- The Japanese city of Nagasaki on Monday marked the 76th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing during World War II, and urged the United States and Russia to do more to eliminate nuclear weapons.

Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue, during a ceremony Monday, also urged the Japanese government to become leaders in a United Nations' treaty banning nuclear weapons.

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He recommended that Tokyo sign and ratify the treaty while building a nuclear weapons-free zone in northeast Asia.

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Taue called the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which came into effect last January, "a new horizon for nuclear disarmament."

The treaty has 86 signatory states, but none are countries that have nuclear weapons.

Taue also expressed concern about an ongoing nuclear arms race, saying that "world leaders must commit to nuclear arms reductions and build trust through dialogue."

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During Monday's ceremony, a moment of silence was observed at 11:02 a.m., which was the time the U.S. bomb detonated above the southwestern Japanese city. Representatives from 63 countries attended the limited gathering.

The bombing on Aug. 9, 1945, killed more than 100,000 people and was one of the key events that ultimately brought fighting in the Pacific theater to a close. The bombing came three days after a U.S. bomber dropped a similar bomb on the city of Hiroshima, which was the first nuclear attack ever launched on a populated area.

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