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Nagasaki Observes 62nd Anniversary of Atomic Bomb Attack

The Japanese city of Nagasaki is marking the 62nd anniversary of the world's second atomic bomb attack with calls for the elimination of nuclear weapons worldwide.

At a somber ceremony Thursday, thousands of people, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, observed a moment of silence at 11:02 AM (0202 GMT) to mark the moment when a U.S. B-29 bomber dropped an atomic bomb on the city in 1945. More than 70,000 people were killed.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mayor Tomihisa Taue said the use of nuclear weapons can never be permitted or considered acceptable, for any reason.

Mr. Abe said that Japan, as the only country to suffer nuclear attacks, has what he called a "special responsibility to communicate the tragic experience to the international community."

The attack on Nagasaki came three days after the U.S. destroyed the Japanese city of Hiroshima in the world's first atomic bomb attack. At least 140,000 people were killed in that attack.

Taue also said Japan's three non-nuclear principles - to not develop, possess and allow nuclear weapons into the country - should be enacted into law.

This year's memorials of the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki follow controversial comments by Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma who called the attacks unavoidable. Some Japanese politicians have also recently suggested that Japan discuss the possibility of developing nuclear weapons.

Mr. Abe has proposed revising Japan's pacifist constitution to reflect the country's modern role in global security issues. The constitution prohibits Japan from maintaining an army and waging war.

Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945, bringing World World II to an end.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.