Tens of thousands of people have gathered in the Japanese city of Hiroshima for a memorial to mark the 68th anniversary of the first atomic bomb ever used in an attack, by the United States near the conclusion of World War II.
Survivors, relatives, and antinuclear activists assembled in Hiroshima's peace park near the epicenter of the 1945 blast, which killed as many as 140,000 people.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that as the only country to have been attacked with nuclear weapons, it was Japan's duty to work to eliminate such weapons.
Three days after the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, the United States dropped a second bomb on Nagasaki, killing tens of thousands more people.
Japan surrendered shortly afterward.
Antinuclear sentiment in Japan has grown even stronger since a 2011 tsunami caused an explosion at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
That accident has continued to leak radioactive contamination into the sea and was recently described as an "emergency," with highly radioactive water breaching an underground barrier and threatening to pour in massive amounts into the Pacific Ocean.
Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and AP