All nuclear powers should eliminate their stockpiles and Japan should turn its no-nuclear weapons policy into law, the mayor of Nagasaki said Thursday at a ceremony marking the 62nd anniversary of the world's second atomic bomb attack.
The city observed a moment of silence at 11:02 a.m., when the B-29 bomber Bock's Car dropped its atomic payload in 1945, killing about 74,000 people.
The attack on Nagasaki came three days after the Enola Gay dropped a bomb on Hiroshima in the first atomic attack in history. That bombing killed at least 140,000. Japan surrendered on Aug. 15, 1945, bringing World War II to an end.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was among 5,500 people at a memorial service at Nagasaki's peace park, along with other officials, diplomats and survivors.
"The United States and all other nuclear powers should not only advocate nuclear nonproliferation, but also eliminate their weapons," Mayor Tomihisa Taue said at the ceremony.
He also asked the Japanese government to make Northeast Asia a nuclear-free zone.
"As the only country that suffered nuclear attacks in the history of mankind, we have the responsibility to pass on this tragic experience in the international community," Abe said at the memorial. "Japan will take the initiative to lead the world toward nuclear abolition and eternal peace."
Abe has repeatedly said Japan will stick to its long-standing principles of not possessing, developing or allowing nuclear weapons on its soil. But the mayor said that is not enough.
"Today, some people express incorrect perceptions about the bombings and talk about possibilities of possessing nuclear weapons even in Japan, a victim of nuclear bombings," Taue said. "We need not only to make the three principles a national policy, but also to make them into law."