Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to work for the abolition of nuclear weapons Monday, as the city of Hiroshima made its annual observance of of the city's bombing by the first atomic weapon used in war.
Mr. Abe spoke to a gathering of citizens, survivors of the blast, politicians and foreign dignitaries in Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park. At 8:15 a.m. those in attendance shared a moment of silence to reflect on the instant - 62 years ago - when a U.S. atomic bomb detonated above the city.
The bombing of Hiroshima killed more than 240,000 people, some from the blast and others from illnesses caused by exposure to radiation.
Hiroshima's Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba urged the government of Japan to do what it takes to eliminate nuclear weapons.
On Sunday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe apologized for his former defense minister's suggestion that the U.S. atomic attacks of 1945 were justified. Mr. Abe offered the apology to a group of atomic survivors.
Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma resigned in July because of the public outrcy after he suggested that the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were justified since they brought the end of World War II.