Virtual view of Hiroshima

Virtual view of Hiroshima

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", Matsui said at a memorial ceremony.

The August 6, 1945 bombing of Hiroshima, which killed 170,000 people in the world's first use of atomic weapon, was followed three days later by the bombing of the city of Nagasaki, which killed more than 70,000 people, and led to Japan's unconditional surrender, ending World War II.

Students in Japan spent that last two years working with virtual reality technology to painstakingly recreate the nuclear blast that wiped out Hiroshima in World War 2.

A survey conducted by the Kyodo News agency showed 81 per cent of the survivors want Japan to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Participants in Monday's ceremony - survivors, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and representatives from 80 countries - observed a minute's silence at 8:15 a.m., the moment when the United States dropped its payload on the unsuspecting population 73 years ago.

Japan should live up to the spirit of its pacifist constitution to lead the global community "toward dialogue and cooperation for a world without nuclear weapons", Matsui said.

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the anniversary event.

And less than two months ago, U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed to the "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" during their summit in Singapore, though the deal has been criticized for lacking detail.

"We in civil society fervently hope that the easing of tensions on the Korean Peninsula will proceed through peaceable dialogue, " he said.

Abe said differences between the nuclear and non-nuclear states had widened, but he pledged to do more to bridge their gap.

Currently, more than 14,000 nuclear weapons are estimated to still exist in the world. The bombings claimed 1 Lakh 40 thousand lives in Hiroshima and 74 thousand in Nagasaki.

Speaking at the ceremony, Abe said Japan will try to act as a bridge between nuclear powers and non-nuclear states and lead worldwide efforts for a world without nuclear weapons.

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

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