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. 



Broadcasted online

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


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.


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.


'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".


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".


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.


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