Japan Marks 68th Anniversary Of Hiroshima Bombing

Japan observed a minute of silence Tuesday to mark the 68th anniversary of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima.

According to Voices of America, survivors and relatives of victims were among 50,000 people gathered at a peace park in Hiroshima for the ceremony.

Fox News reported that "ageing survivors, relatives, government officials and foreign delegates were to observe a moment of silence at 8:15 am (2315 GMT Monday), the time of the detonation which turned the city into a nuclear inferno."

It was 68 years ago today, August 6, 1945, that an American B-29 bomber named Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Three days later, the port city of Nagasaki was also bombed.

USA Today reported that the blast killed up to 140,000 people, not including the tens of thousands of people killed by the second blast in Nagasaki.

The report continued on to say, "There are over 200,000 'hibakusha,' surviving victims from the atomic bombings, with an average age of nearly 79. Many gathered in Hiroshima to burn incense, bowing in prayer."

Hiroshima's mayor, Kazumi Matsui described the pain of those who survived in a "peace declaration" speech.

"The atomic bomb is the ultimate inhumane weapon and an absolute evil. The hibakusha, who know the hell of an atomic bombing, have continuously fought that evil," he said.

He continued on to say how much he disagreed with the government's efforts to restart the nuclear plants and to export nuclear technology to other companies.

"This summer, eastern Japan is still suffering the aftermath of the great earthquake and the nuclear accident. The desperate struggle to recover hometowns continues. The people of Hiroshima know well the ordeal of recovery," Matsui said.

"We urge the national government to rapidly develop and implement a responsible energy policy that places top priority on safety and the livelihoods of the people," he said.

With the continuing news of the Fukushima leaks, many worry about what could happen if the radioactivity from the plant doesn't get under control.

There is a lot of controversy among those in Japan as to whether or not to reopen the many nuclear power plants that were shut down in wake of the Fukushima disaster.

According to Fox News, "the administration of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is among the expected attendees at Tuesday's memorial event, has advocated restarting Japan's switched-off nuclear reactors if their safety can be assured."

During the ceremony Tuesday, Abe pledged to work towards the eradication of nuclear weapons.

"I swear that I will spare no effort to make lasting peace a reality," he said.

Voiced of America continued on to the following:

"We Japanese are history's sole victims of the nuclear attack of the nuclear attack and we have the certain responsibility to bring about a world without nuclear weapons," Abe said. "And it is our duty to continue to remind the world of [nuclear weapons'] inhumanity."
As the 68th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing continues on, Fox News reported that "the forces' naval arm was due to hold a ceremony marking the launch of a 248-metre (810-foot) helicopter carrier which can accommodate nine aircraft."

[Image via ABC News 24]