Hiroshima marked the 67th anniversary of the US atomic bombing today, renewing its call for the elimination of nuclear weapons and more help for aging survivors fighting health problems caused by radiation from the bomb blast.
Among the attendees of a peace ceremony will be a grandson of the late US President Harry Truman, who ordered the August 6, 1945 atomic bombing of the western Japan city, as well as the US ambassador to Japan and the top envoys of two other nuclear powers Britain and France.
The memorial comes at a time when an increasing number of people in Japan are concerned about radiation-induced health problems in the wake of the 2011 nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant that released a massive amount of radioactive materials.
Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui will ask leaders of countries that have nuclear weapons to visit the city in the Peace Declaration he will read out during the ceremony at the Peace Memorial Park, which will be also attended by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.
Along with Truman’s grandson, Clifton Truman Daniel, a grandson of US radarman Jacob Beser, who was aboard both airplanes that dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, will take part in the annual event.
US Ambassador John Roos attended the ceremony in 2010. British Ambassador David Warren and French Ambassador Christian Masset will do so for the first time, according to the city office.
Representatives from 71 countries including other nuclear powers such as Russia are also expected to attend the commemoration.