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Hiroshima marks 65th atomic bomb anniversary

08-06-2010 10:35 BJT

HIROSHIMA, Japan, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- Japan's Hiroshima marked the 65th atomic bomb anniversary on Friday, calling for a world free of nuclear weapons.

People mourn during the ceremony marking the 65th atomic bomb anniversary in Hiroshima Peace Park, Japan, Aug. 6, 2010. Japan's Hiroshima marked the 65th atomic bomb anniversary on Friday, calling for a world free of nuclear weapons.(Xinhua/Ji Chunpeng)
People mourn during the ceremony marking the 65th atomic bomb anniversary in 
Hiroshima Peace Park, Japan, Aug. 6, 2010. Japan's Hiroshima marked the 65th 
atomic bomb anniversary on Friday, calling for a world free of nuclear weapons.(Xinhua/Ji Chunpeng)

UN Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon attended the ceremony in Hiroshima Peace Park, becoming the first UN chief to attend the annual ceremony. Before Hiroshima, he also for the first time visited Nagasaki, the second Japanese city the United States dropped an atomic bomb on during World War II.

Ban was joined by representatives from over 70 countries, including U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos, who was the first U. S. representative to do so, and French and British officials. "I feel honored to be the first U.N. secretary general to take part in the peace memorial ceremony on the 65th anniversary. And I am deeply moved. ... I come here for world peace." Ban said.

"When the atomic bombs fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I was one year old. Only later in life could I begin to understand the full dimension of all that happened here," he said.

Calling nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation a top priority of his work, Ban said "the moment has come" for the world to become free of weapons of mass destruction.

"We see new leadership from the most powerful nations. We see new engagement in the UN Security Council. We see new energy from civil society.," he said, adding important progress was made at the nuclear summit in Washington, which "we will build upon in Korea in 2012".

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