Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for global cooperation to end nuclear weapons. The memorial ceremony took place in the Peace Park in central Hiroshima.
On a positive note, he highlighted a major development in 2017, in particular the adoption last month of the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons by UN Member States.
Sunday marks a somber anniversary - the day the USA dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945, 72 years ago. At the outbreak of the four-hour uranium bomb thrown by the US B-29 bomber, between 70 and 100,000 people died instantly.
Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui urged that the "absolute evil" of atomic weaponry be banished. "I also pray for the peace of the A-bomb victims and the bereaved families, those attending here as well as the citizens of Hiroshima city". (Credit: Jiji Press/AFP) Attendants observe a minute of silence at the 72nd anniversary memorial.
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"The states possessing nuclear weapons have a special responsibility to undertake concrete and irreversible steps in nuclear disarmament", Guterres stressed, warning against the continued presence of some 15,000 nuclear weapons and risky rhetoric regarding their use. It is the only country to have ever come under nuclear attack. "Thousands of American lives lost", Trump tweeted.
Since then, nuclear proliferation has created a unsafe modern world, with many nations now capable of using nuclear weapons on their neighbor.
"Yet our dream of a world free of nuclear weapons remains far from a reality", he said.
Mr Barack Obama became the first sitting USA president to visit Hiroshima in May past year, paying a moving tribute to the victims of the devastating bombing.