Japan marked the 71st anniversary of the US atomic bombing of Nagasaki today as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe underscored the nation's nuclear non-proliferation stance, while a city official called for other national leaders to follow in the footsteps of United States (US) President Barack Obama who visited Hiroshima earlier this year.
"As the only country to be bombed by atomic bombs during wartime, I will strongly advocate the importance of maintaining and strengthening the stance of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, while maintaining the three non-nuclear principles," Abe said, as hundreds of visitors at the Nagasaki Peace Park attended the annual peace memorial.
"With a new sense of commitment, I will continue to make the effort to call leaders of nations to visit the atomic bombing sites, and to tell the stories of the reality of the bombings," said Masanao Maiguma, the head of Nagasaki city municipal assembly.
Obama this year became the first incumbent US president to visit Hiroshima and he urged nuclear powers, including his own, to have the courage to escape the logic of fear and pursue a world without nuclear weapons.
The US dropped the bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, killing thousands of people instantly and about 140,000 by the end of that year.
US forces dropped another atomic bomb on the southern city of Nagasaki on August 9. Japan surrendered six days later.