[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
LANGUAGES
Chinese
Vietnamese
Indonesian
Burmese
Thai
More
Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 August, 2003, 07:44 GMT 08:44 UK
World warned on Hiroshima day
Hiroshima after the bomb
The atomic bomb on Hiroshima devastated a city of 300,000
The mayor of Hiroshima in Japan has marked the 58th anniversary of the world's first atomic bomb attack by criticising the world's pursuit of new nuclear weapons technology.

"The world without nuclear weapons... that bomb survivors have sought for so long appears to be slipping under a thick cover of dark clouds that they fear at any minute could become mushroom clouds," Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba said.

He was speaking at the annual ceremony commemorating the 160,000 killed or injured in the blast.

At 8.15am local time a bell marked the minute on 6 August 1945 when the US atomic bomb exploded.

Mr Akiba spoke of the "blazing hell fire that swept over this very spot" and called all nuclear weapons "utterly evil, inhumane and illegal under international law".

This year's ceremony comes less than a week after North Korea agreed to US demands for six-nation talks to resolve the standoff over Pyongyang's suspected nuclear programme.

White doves

Mr Akiba did not directly criticise North Korean leader Kim Jong Il - but he urged him, as well as US President George W Bush and the heads of other nuclear-armed countries to visit Hiroshima.

Memorial ceremony in Hiroshima
Thousands of doves were released during Wednesday's ceremony
The Bush administration wants Congress to approve US$68m for research into advanced nuclear weapons technology - including research on a ground-penetrating nuclear warhead, and smaller weapons called mini-nukes.

Mr Akiba also made clear his disapproval of the US-led campaign to topple Saddam Hussein.

"As the US-British-led war on Iraq made clear, the assertion that war is peace is being trumpeted as truth," he said

Thousands of white doves were released into the sky during Wednesday's ceremony, which was attended by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.




SEE ALSO:
In pictures: Hiroshima remembers A-bomb
06 Aug 01  |  Asia-Pacific


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific