Hiroshima calls for nuke-free world by 2020 on anniversary

Hiroshima calls for nuke-free world by 2020 on anniversary

Doves fly over the Peace Memorial Park at a ceremony in Hiroshima, to mark the 64th anniversary of the atomic bombing on the city. AP

Some 50,000 people, including atomic bomb survivors as well as Prime Minister Taro Aso and representatives from more than 50 nations, gathered at a memorial to the dead.

Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba praised US President Barack Obama for his anti-nuclear views as he delivered a speech at the memorial, within sight of the A-bomb dome, a former exhibition hall burned to a skeleton by the bomb's intense heat.

The mayor noted Obama said in an address that as the only nuclear power to have used an atomic weapon, the United States has "a moral responsibility to act" to realise a nuclear-free world.

"Nuclear weapons abolition is the will not only of the hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) but also of the vast majority of people and nations on this planet," he said.

"We refer to ourselves, the great global majority, as the 'Obamajority,' and we call on the rest of the world to join forces with us to eliminate all nuclear weapons by 2020."

Those attending the memorial ceremony stood up and offered silent prayers at 8:15 am, the exact moment in 1945 when the bomb was dropped.

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