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TOKYO — Hiroshima on Saturday remembered the atomic bombing 77 years in the past as officers, together with the pinnacle of the United Nations, warned towards nuclear weapons buildup and as fears develop of one other such assault amid Russia’s battle on Ukraine.

“Nuclear weapons are nonsense. They guarantee no safety — only death and destruction,” mentioned U.N. Secretary-Normal António Guterres, who joined the prayer on 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 mentioned.

America dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, destroying the town and killing 140,000 folks. It dropped a second bomb three days in a while Nagasaki, killing one other 70,000. Japan surrendered on Aug. 15, ending World Battle II and Japan’s practically half-century of aggression in Asia.

Fears of a 3rd atomic bombing have grown amid Russia’s threats of nuclear assault since its battle on Ukraine started in February.

“Crises with grave nuclear undertones are spreading fast” within the Center East and the Korean Peninsula, Guterres mentioned. “We are one mistake, one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from Armageddon.”

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 battle on Ukraine helps construct help for nuclear deterrence, Matsui mentioned, urging the world to not repeat the errors that destroyed his metropolis practically eight many years in the past.

On Saturday, attendees together with authorities leaders and diplomats noticed a second 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 town. About 400 doves, thought-about symbols of peace, had been launched.

Guterres met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida after the ceremony and raised alarm over the worldwide retreat in nuclear disarmament, stressing the significance for Japan, the world’s solely nation to have suffered nuclear assaults, to take management within the effort, Japan’s International Ministry mentioned.

Kishida escorted Guterres within the peace museum, the place they every folded an origami crane — a logo of peace and nuclear weapons abolition.

Russia and its ally Belarus weren’t invited to this yr’s peace memorial. Russian Ambassador to Japan Mikhail Galuzin on Thursday provided flowers at a memorial epitaph within the park and informed reporters his nation would by no means use nuclear weapons.

The world continues to face threats from nuclear weapons, Kishida mentioned on 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 mentioned. “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 G-7 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 beneath 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 beneath 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, just isn’t sensible in the mean time and that Japan must bridge the divide between non-nuclear and nuclear powers.

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

The federal government started to offer medical help 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 help, in response to the Well being and Welfare Ministry. However many others, together with those that say they had been victims of the “black rain” that fell exterior of the initially designated areas, are nonetheless with out help.

Getting older survivors, recognized in Japan as hibakusha, proceed to push for a nuclear ban and hope to persuade youthful generations to affix the motion.

Guterres had a message for youthful folks: “Finish the work that the hibakusha have begun. Carry their message forward. In their names, in their honor, in their memory — we must act.”

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