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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Japan Commits to Remaining Non-Nuclear on Anniversary

ReutersDoves flying over Peace Memorial Park at a ceremony Monday in Hiroshima.
HIROSHIMA, Japan -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday that Japan was committed to its non-nuclear policy as Hiroshima marked the 62nd anniversary of the world's first atomic bomb attack, which killed more than 140,000 people in the Japanese city.

About 40,000 survivors, residents and visitors from around the world gathered near the epicenter of the blast to observe a minute of silence at 8:15 a.m. Monday, the moment the U.S. B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped its deadly payload over Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945.

An estimated 140,000 people were killed instantly or died within a few months after the bombing. Three days later, another U.S. airplane dropped a plutonium bomb on the city of Nagasaki, killing about 80,000 people.

"Japan has been taking the path toward global peace for 62 years since World War II. The tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki should never be repeated," Abe said in a speech at Hiroshima Peace Park, near the bomb's epicenter.

"We will take an initiative in the international community and devote ourselves wholeheartedly toward the abolition of nuclear weapons and realization of peace," Abe said.

Following North Korea's first nuclear test explosion in October, some Japanese politicians have suggested that Tokyo should at least debate development of nuclear weapons.

Their remarks prompted Abe to say Japan will not stray from its three long-standing principles of not possessing, developing or allowing nuclear weapons on Japanese soil.