Hiroshima observes 65th anniversary of atomic bombing

August 6th, 2010 - 7:35 am ICT by IANS  

Tokyo, Aug 6 (DPA) The Hiroshima Bell of Peace tolled at 8.15 a.m. Friday, the exact moment 65 years ago when a US B-29 bomber dropped an atomic bomb on the city, killing thousands of people in seconds and hundreds more in the decades since.
The first use of nuclear weapons against human beings wreaked unprecedented havoc. By the end of 1945, some 140,000 people had died because of the bomb.

This year, the names of 5,501 people who were exposed to radiation and died in the last year were added at the memorial site, bringing the total of victims listed to 269,446.

The ceremony commemorating the 65th anniversary of the bombing was held at Peace Memorial Park near ground zero. Those at the ceremony observed a minute’s silence in memory of victims of the attack.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and representatives from more than 70 countries, including US Ambassador to Japan John Roos, attended the ceremony. Ban was the first UN chief to participate in the annual event, and Roos was the first US envoy to do so.

The US attendance came “too late”, said Haruko Moritaki, who represents the Hiroshima Alliance for Nuclear Weapons Abolition (HANWA). “The US is the only country on earth that carried out atomic bombing. And they still possess nuclear arms.”

Japanese media coverage of the anniversary of the atomic bombing portrayed Japanese people as “victims” of World War II and rarely touched on Japan’s wartime aggression.

The coverage “has become worse year by year”, Kenichi Asano, a journalism professor at Doshisha University in Kyoto. That shows reflects Japanese journalists’ “lack of correct historical perception”.

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