United Nations chief decries stockpile of 15000 nuclear weapons by countries

Greenpeace activists hold up flags of the nuclear nations along with a 5 meter high mock nuclear bomb outside the United Nations Conference on Disarmament

Greenpeace activists hold up flags of the nuclear nations along with a 5 meter high mock nuclear bomb outside the United Nations Conference on Disarmament

Otherwise, the day passed off peacefully without the usual controversy of political leaders visiting the Yasukuni shrine where World War II military leaders of Japan are enshrined.

In light of the Constitution, Hiroshima calls on the government to do all it can to bridge the gap between the nuclear weapon states and those that do not have such weapons to facilitate the treaty's ratification.

No sitting United States president had ever visited this city, destroyed by an atomic bomb on August 6, 1945, in one of the final moves of World War II.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, however, defended the decision to stay out by saying that "a realistic approach" is needed to reach the goal of having a world without nuclear weapons. The Enola Gay released it some 30,000 feet above the city, and the bomb fell for 44.4 seconds before detonating in a blast that would ultimately kill 140,000 people and destroy 90% of the city. Within weeks, Japan surrendered.

President Donald Trump, then a candidate for the presidency, was critical of Obama's remarks.

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In February Trump told Reuters that "if countries are going to have nukes, we're going to be at the top of the pack".

Marking the anniversary, UN Secretary General António Guterres said the world is still far from ridding itself of nuclear weapons.

A day before the Hiroshima anniversary, the United Nations Security Council unanimously voted to impose new sanctions on North Korea over last month's long-range missile tests.

In the city's annual peace declaration, Matsui pointed out that it is time to "strive to advance further towards a nuclear-weapon free world". The states possessing nuclear weapons have a special responsibility to undertake concrete and irreversible steps in nuclear disarmament.

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