Hiroshima Marks 72nd Anniversary of World War II Atomic Bombings

Lanterns floating on Green Lake during the 2014 Hiroshima to Hope event

The message was delivered on his behalf by Mr Izumi Nakamitsu, the UN Representative for Disarmament Affairs at the annual memorial held in Hiroshima, Japan, for the victims of the atomic bomb dropped on the city in 1945.

The U.N. estimates nations around the world still have some 15,000 nuclear weapons in their arsenals.

During the final stage of the Second World War, the United States dropped nuclear bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945 respectively, killing 140,000 people.

"Humankind must never commit such an act, " he added, urging nuclear states, as well as Japan, to join the United Nations nuclear weapons ban treaty adopted in July.

"Given this development, the governments of all countries must now strive to advance further toward a nuclear-weapon-free world", Matsui said in his annual Peace Declaration.

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He noted that adoption of the treaty was the outcome of the campaign focused on the unconditional unacceptability of the use of nuclear weapons.

He warned against the stockpile of 15,000 nuclear weapons and unsafe rhetoric regarding their use.

"Today, we pledge together with the millions of people all over the world to work tirelessly for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons and all weapons", said a student.

Many in Japan feel the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki amounted to war crimes and atrocities because they targeted civilians, and also because of the unprecedented destructive nature of the weapons.

According to Associated Press, Hiroshima's appeal of "never again" on the anniversary of the world's first atomic bomb attack acquired renewed urgency as North Korea moves ever closer to acquiring nuclear weapons.

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