9 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The Japanese city of Nagasaki today marked 60 years after becoming the second city to suffer atomic attack with a call for the United States to give up its nuclear arsenal.
Some 6,000 people -- including Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi -- began with a minute of silence at 11:02 a.m. local time, 60 years to the moment after the plutonium bomb was dropped on 9 August 1945, killing more than 70,000 people.
Nagasaki Mayor Iccho Itoh told the crowd that he understands U.S. fears of terrorism following the 11 September 2001 attacks. But he questioned whether the United States's nuclear arsenal has made the country more secure.
"The United States has 10,000 nuclear weapons, has conducted nuclear tests and, on top of that, is pursuing the development of miniature nuclear weapons," Itoh said. "Do the American people really think the policies of their country are going to bring about peace? We know that most of you are actually really seeking the abolition of nuclear weapons. We should all unite to bring peace to the world."
Koizumi made similar remarks on 6 August in Hiroshima, where more than 140,000 died in the world's first nuclear bombing on 6 August 1945.
Japan surrendered on 15 August 1945, ending World War II.
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