Nagasaki: More than 5,000 people have gathered in the Peace Park in Nagasaki to mark the 64th anniversary of the US atomic bombing of the southwestern Japanese city.
At the memorial ceremony on Saturday evening, Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue read the Peace Declaration, calling for worldwide nuclear disarmament and enhanced measures for nuclear non-proliferation.
Lauding US President Barack Obama`s statement on a world without nuclear weapons this April in Prague, Taue said, "The government of Japan, a nation that has experienced nuclear devastation, must play a leading role in international society."
"In a bid for thorough elimination of nuclear armaments, we urge the strongest efforts towards the Nuclear Weapons Convention, which the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon last year called on governments to negotiate actively," said the Mayor.
In his speech at the ceremony, Prime Minister Taro Aso reaffirmed Japan`s three principles of not producing, possessing or allowing nuclear weapons on its soil.
On August 09, 1945, a second atomic bomb was dropped by the US on Nagasaki three days after Hiroshima suffered the world`s first atomic bombing. The attack, which occurred at 11:02 am, killed an estimated 74,000 people by the end of 1945, and many more later from radiation sickness.
Statistics showed that to date the atomic bombing has claimed a total of 149,226 lives in Nagasaki, including 3,304 people who died from injuries related to the bombing in the past year.