Hiroshima renews call for nuclear ban


HIROSHIMA, Japan -- The city has renewed its annual call for the abolition of nuclear weapons while it marked the 47th anniversary of the first atomic bombing of a city.

In a speech made at a ceremony in the city's Peace Memorial Park, Hiroshima Mayor Takashi Hiraoka yesterday condemned the continued reliance on nuclear deterrence by some countries even though the Cold War is over.

"Hiroshima cannot condone a policy of nuclear deterrence that makes national security hostage to nuclear weapons," Mr. Hiraoka told an estimated 50,000 participants.

Stressing that the world is at a historic turning point, he called for the abolition of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction and for the conciliation and cooperation of all the peoples of the world.

The participants -- including A-bomb survivors, relatives of victims and about 200 people from the United States, Russia and other countries -- observed a minute of silence at 8:15 a.m., the time the bomb dropped by an American plane exploded over the city 47 years ago.

Estimates of the number of victims from the blast vary. About 90 percent of the city was destroyed and at least 140,000 people were killed.

The Hiroshima mayor also urged in his speech for an immediate and comprehensive nuclear test ban and the disclosure of the status of all nuclear arsenals.

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