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Japan marks 67th anniversary of Hiroshima atomic bombing

Tokyo, Aug 6 (): Today, Japan marks the 67th anniversary of the world’s first atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima in an annual ceremony.

The ceremony was attended by tens of thousands of people, including Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, government officials and a number of foreign representatives, which was held at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. The attendees included ageing survivors and their relatives.

One-minute silence was maintained after a bell struck at 08:15 local time (23:15 GMT), the exact time when Enola Gay, the US bomber dropped the deadly bomb over the western Japanese city nearly seven decades ago, that killed 140,000 people.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Japan must pass the experience on to future generations so that the lessons of Hiroshima are not forgotten. The United States was represented by Ambassador John Roos.

The ceremony was also attended by Clifton Truman Daniel, a grandson of former US President Harry Truman, who ordered the bombing of Hiroshima and then Nagasaki.

Mr Truman is the first of the family to attend the annual ceremony. He said while it was hard to hear the survivors’ stories it was important for his family to understand the full consequence of decisions made by his grandfather.

The annual ceremony took place in the midst of growing public frustration with the decision to restart nuclear plants  in the country, following the nuclear accident at a power plant in Fukushima last year.

Most participants at the annual ceremony expressed their opposition to nuclear power generation. Those who attended the event also included people who once lived near a nuclear plant in Fukushima prefecture in north-eastern Japan that was the site of the 2011 meltdowns of three reactors.

Anti-nuclear protesters also staged a rally in Hiroshima. A banner read “Osprey and nuclear plants are unnecessary.”

Few months back, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has given his decision to restart the atomic plants despite mounting public fears of atomic power and experts’ warnings of fault lines under the complex.