TOKYO (AP) — Hiroshima on Saturday remembered the atomic bombing 77 years in the past as officers, together with the top of the United Nations, warned in opposition to nuclear weapons buildup and fears develop of one other such assault amid Russia’s warfare on Ukraine.

“Nuclear weapons are nonsense. They guarantee no safety — only death and destruction,” said U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who joined the prayer at the Hiroshima Peace Park.

“Three quarters of a century later, we must ask what we’ve learned from the mushroom cloud that swelled above this city in 1945,” he said.

The United States dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, destroying the city and killing 140,000 people. It dropped a second bomb three days later on Nagasaki, killing another 70,000. Japan surrendered on Aug. 15, ending World War II and Japan’s nearly half-century of aggression in Asia.

Fears of a third atomic bombing have grown amid Russia’s threats of nuclear attack since its war on Ukraine began in February.

Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui, in his peace declaration, accused Putin of “using his own people as instruments of war and stealing the lives and livelihoods of innocent civilians in another country.”

Russia’s war on Ukraine is helping build support for nuclear deterrence, Matsui said, urging the world not to repeat the mistakes that destroyed his city 77 years ago.

On Saturday, attendees including government leaders and diplomats observed a moment of silence with the sound of a peace bell at 8:15 a.m., the time when the U.S. B-29 dropped the bomb on the city. About 400 doves, considered symbols of peace, were released.

Russia and its ally Belarus were not invited to this year’s peace memorial. Russian Ambassador to Japan Mikhail Galuzin on Thursday offered flowers at a memorial epitaph in the park and told reporters his country would never use nuclear weapons.

The world continues to face threats from nuclear weapons, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said at the memorial.

“I must raise my voice to appeal to the people around the world that the tragedy of nuclear weapons use should never be repeated,” he said. “Japan will walk its path toward a world without nuclear weapons, no matter how narrow, steep or difficult that may be.”

Kishida, who will host a Group of Seven summit assembly subsequent Might in Hiroshima, mentioned he hoped to share his pledge with different G7 leaders “before the peace monument” to unite them to guard peace and worldwide order based mostly on the common values of freedom and democracy.

Matsui criticized nuclear weapon states, together with Russia, for not taking steps regardless of their pledge to abide by obligations below the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

“Rather than treating a world without nuclear weapons like a distant dream, they should be taking concrete steps toward its realization,” he mentioned.

Critics say Kishida’s name for a nuclear-free world is hole as a result of Japan stays below the U.S. nuclear umbrella and continues to boycott the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Kishida mentioned the treaty, which lacks the U.S. and different nuclear powers, shouldn’t be reasonable in the meanwhile and that Japan must bridge the divide between non-nuclear and nuclear powers.

Many survivors of the bombings have lasting accidents and sicknesses ensuing from the explosions and radiation publicity and face discrimination in Japan.

The federal government started to offer medical assist to licensed survivors in 1968 after greater than 20 years of effort by them.

As of March, 118,935 survivors, whose common age now exceeds 84, are licensed as eligible for presidency medical assist, in keeping with the Well being and Welfare Ministry. However many others, together with those that say they had been victims of the “black rain” that fell outdoors of the initially designated areas, are nonetheless with out assist.

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