VR tour of Hiroshima bombing created by Japanese students

Hiroshima Remembered amid Nuclear Tensions

Hiroshima Remembered amid Nuclear Tensions

Doves fly over the Peace Memorial Park with the Atomic Bomb Dome in the background, at a ceremony in Hiroshima, western Japan, August 6, 2018, on the 73rd anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city.

A bell tolled in Hiroshima as Japan marked 73 years since the world's first atomic bombing, with the city's mayor warning that rising nationalism worldwide threatens peace.

Without naming specific nations, Matsui warned that "certain countries are explicitly expressing self-centered nationalism and modernizing their nuclear arsenals".

"If the human family forgets history or stops confronting it, we could again commit a bad error", Matsui said at the event on Monday.

"Efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons must continue". He urged world leaders to negotiate in good faith to eliminate atomic arsenals.

Now it is safe to say that no one wants a repeat of what happened at Hiroshima, plus given today's weapons, we imagine that the fallout would be considerably worse. Japan, which hosts USA troops on its land and is covered by the US nuclear umbrella protecting it from attack, has not signed the treaty.

His call however highlighted Japan's contradictory relationship with nuclear weapons.

VR tour of Hiroshima bombing created by Japanese students

The anniversary comes amid hopes to denuclearize North Korea after President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made vague aspirational statements of denuclearizing the peninsula when they met in Singapore in June. A video of Matsui's speech will be posted on the Hiroshima city government's website around Thursday.

As in the previous year, he stopped short of mentioning the nuclear weapons ban treaty, only saying that a gap has emerged among countries over how to advance nuclear disarmament.

Representatives from seven groups of hibakusha atomic bomb survivors, meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday, requested that the country sign and ratify a nuclear weapons ban treaty that was adopted at the United Nations in July 2017. In order to gain cooperation from both sides, it is important for everyone to understand "the reality of the tragedy of nuclear attacks", he said, and reiterated Japan's pledge to maintain it pacifist and non-nuclear principles.

The August 6, 1945 bombing of Hiroshima, which killed 170,000 people in the world's first use of atomic weapon, was followed three days later by the bombing of the city of Nagasaki, which killed more than 70,000 people, and led to Japan's unconditional surrender, ending World War II. Japan is not supporting the global accord banning the production, possession and use of nuclear arms among its signatories.

Japanese high school students have produced a virtual reality experience that recreates the sights and sounds of the Hiroshima nuclear bomb attack.

Barack Obama became the first sitting USA president to visit Hiroshima in May 2016.

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