Thousands of people from around the nation and abroad gathered on Monday at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park to commemorate the 62nd anniversary of the US atomic bombing.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was among some 45,000 to attend the ceremony and vowed to maintain the government's three non-nuclear principles, which stipulates Japan not possess, produce or allow nuclear arms into its territory.
US dropped the A-bomb in Hiroshima at 8:15 am today in 1945, killed at least 140,000 people and their sufferings continue.
"To ensure that no one else ever suffers as we did, the hibakusha (A-bomb survivors) have continuously spoken of experiences they would rather forget, and we must never forget their accomplishment in preventing a third use of nuclear weapons," Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba read in Peace Declaration at the ceremony.
The Japanese government "should take pride in and protect" the pacifist Constitution to press for a nuclear-free world, Akiba added, referring to the proposed revision of the Article 9 to give Japan the right to collective defence.
The ceremony was held this year amid former Defence Minister Fumio Kyuma's controversial remarks that the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki "could not be helped" to end the war.
Abe on Sunday apologized to the A-bomb survivors for Kyuma's remarks and pledged that he would review the government's screening of the victims to qualify for subsidies.
A series of lawsuits have been filed against the government because many hibakusha were not recognized as suffering diseases triggered by radiation of atomic bombings.
Some 251,834 hibakusha, as certified under Japanese law, were alive as of March 31, but 2,242 of them have had their illnesses recognized as caused by radiation from the atomic bombings, according to Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry data.
Last Mod: 06 Ağustos 2007, 15:18