Japan marks 73rd anniversary of Hiroshima bombing

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For the vote of the treaty text, 122 nations voted in favor while 69 nations chose not to vote - all of which were nuclear weapon states.

Expressing hope that the easing of tensions on the Korean Peninsula will continue through dialogue, Matsui called on global leaders to make an worldwide treaty comprehensively prohibiting nuclear weapons a "milestone" toward the goal of ridding the world of nuclear arsenals.

"If the human family forgets history or stops confronting it, we could again commit a bad error", Mayor Kazumi Matsui said at the ceremony.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in his message the legacy of Hiroshima is one of "resilience" and sought continued moral support from the "hibakusha".

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"Atom bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945 respectively, which wreaked havoc of unimaginable dimensions".

Japan should live up to the spirit of its pacifist constitution to lead the worldwide community "toward dialogue and cooperation for a world without nuclear weapons", Matsui said. Japan, which hosts USA troops on its land and falls under the protections of the US's nuclear umbrella, has not signed the treaty.

They can enter the post office and the Shima Hospital courtyard, where the skeletal remains of a building now known as the Atomic Bomb Dome stand on the river's banks, a testament to what happened.

His call however highlighted Japan's contradictory relationship with nuclear weapons.

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The anniversary comes amid hopes to denuclearise North Korea after its pledge to do so at the Singapore summit in June.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the anniversary event. "We in civil society fervently hope that the easing of tensions on the Korean Peninsula will proceed through peaceable dialogue", he added.

Japan needs to lead the global community toward "dialogue and cooperation for a world without nuclear weapons", the mayor added. The United States, a major nuclear power whose president called for modernizing its nuclear arsenal, sent its ambassador to Japan to the annual ceremony for the first time in three years.

The unit became Japan's top-secret biological and chemical warfare research base and operated as the nerve center of Japanese biological warfare in China and Southeast Asia during World War II. It was the first use of nuclear weapons against human beings.

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Barack Obama became the first sitting USA president to visit Hiroshima in May 2016.

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