On Sunday, Japan marked 72 years since the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, destroying a portion of the city and its inhabitants, and heralding the end of World War II.
About 50,000 people, including representatives from 80 nations, gathered for an annual ceremony at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park Sunday, reports The Japan Times.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for global cooperation to end nuclear weapons.
“For us to truly realize a world without nuclear weapons, the participation of both nuclear weapon states and non-nuclear weapon states is necessary,” he said.
Last month, the United Nations reached its first agreement to ban nuclear weapons. But Japan, along with the nine nuclear-armed nations, including the United States, refused to take part in the negotiations and the vote.
Critics of the treaty, including the United States, say it does nothing to counter the “grave threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear program.” Member states can sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons next month; if ratified, it will be put into effect 90 days later, reports The New York Times.
Japan already adheres to a policy of not possessing, producing or allowing nuclear weapons on its territory. It is the only country to have ever come under nuclear attack.
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SOURCE: NPR, Amy Held