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Nagasaki Marks Anniversary of World's Second Atomic Bombing

  • VOA News

A woman reacts in front of the Peace Statue on the anniversary of the 1945 atomic bombing in Nagasaki at Nagasaki's Peace Park, western Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo, August 9, 2016.

A woman reacts in front of the Peace Statue on the anniversary of the 1945 atomic bombing in Nagasaki at Nagasaki's Peace Park, western Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo, August 9, 2016.

Bells tolled in Nagasaki, Japan Tuesday to mark the 71st anniversary of the city's atomic bombing by the United States, bringing an eventual end to World War II.

Thousands of people stood in silent reflection at the city's Peace Park as the bells tolled at the precise moment (11:02 a.m. Nagasaki time, 0202 GMT) an atomic bomb dubbed "Fat Man" detonated over the city just moments after being dropped from an American B-29 bomber. Over 70,000 people were killed instantly, with thousands more dying months, even years later from radiation sickness.

The attendees included aging survivors of the August 9, 1945 attack, as well as representatives of over 50 nations, including several nuclear powers.

Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue urged world leaders to "bring together as much of your collective wisdom as you possibly can" to permanently eliminate nuclear weapons, and urged them to visit his city to learn first hand the aftermath of a nuclear attack, using President Barack Obama's historic visit in May to Hiroshima as an example. Obama was the first U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, which was attacked three days before Nagasaki.

"Knowing the facts becomes the starting point for thinking about a future free of nuclear weapons," he said.

Taue also called on Japan's national government to legalize the country's long-standing principles of neither producing nor possessing nuclear weapons, and banning the entry of such weapons on Japanese soil.

Six days after the Nagasaki attack, Japan's imperial government surrendered to Allied forces.

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