Tokyo: Japan today marked 71 years since the city of Hiroshima was destroyed by a US atomic bomb, as its mayor urged the world to unite in abolishing nuclear weapons.
The annual ceremony came just months after Barack Obama became the first sitting US president to visit the western Japanese city, paying moving tribute to victims of the devastating bomb. American B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped its deadly payload, dubbed "Little Boy", on Hiroshima at 8:15 am local time on August 6, 1945. Much of the city was incinerated by a wall of heat up to 4,000 C (7,232 F) -- hot enough to melt steel -- killing tens of thousands.
About 50,000 participants, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and representatives of more than 90 countries and regions, observed a minute's silence at the exact time the atrocity occurred some seven decades ago. During the solemn ceremony,
Hiroshima mayor Kazumi Matsui recalled the visit by Obama in his peace declaration, citing the president's historic speech.