Japan marks Hiroshima bomb anniversary with low-key ceremonies

Japan on Friday marked 76 years since the world's first atomic bomb attack, with low-key ceremonies and disappointment over a refusal by Olympics organisers to hold a minute's silence.

Let's take a look:

Call for world peace

Survivors, relatives and a handful of foreign dignitaries attended this year's main event in Hiroshima to pray for those killed or wounded in the bombing and call for world peace. 

 

(Photograph:AFP)

Broadcasted online

Virus concerns meant the general public were once again kept away, with the ceremony instead broadcast online. 
 

(Photograph:AFP)

Offered silent prayer

Participants, many dressed in black and wearing face masks, offered a silent prayer at 8:15 am (2315 GMT Thursday), the time the first nuclear weapon used in wartime was dropped over the city.
 

(Photograph:AFP)

140,000 people were killed

An estimated 140,000 people were killed in the bombing of Hiroshima, which was followed three days later by the atomic bombing of Nagasaki.

(Photograph:AFP)

'Threatening others for self-defence benefits no one'

On Friday, Hiroshima's mayor warned "experience has taught humanity that threatening others for self-defence benefits no one".

He also called for leaders to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki to "achieve a deeper understanding of the bombings".
 

(Photograph:AFP)

Bach's controversial visit

International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach made a trip to Hiroshima before the Games began, to mark the start of an Olympic truce that urges a halt to fighting worldwide to allow the safe passage of athletes.

But organisers stopped short of granting a request from bomb survivors and the city for athletes to join a minute of silent prayer on Friday morning.

In a letter, Bach said the Olympic closing ceremony would include time to honour victims of tragedy throughout history.

Bach's visit itself was controversial, with more than 70,000 people signing a petition opposing the trip and accusing him of seeking "to promote the Olympics... even though it is being forced through despite opposition".
 

(Photograph:AFP)

Anti-nuclear protests

This year's ceremony is the first since an international treaty banning nuclear weapons entered into force last year when a 50th country ratified the text.

The treaty has not been signed by nuclear-armed states, but activists believe it will have a gradual deterrent effect.

(Photograph:AFP)

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