Hiroshima marks 70 years since atomic blast
Japan marked the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima with Mayor Kazumi Matsui urging world leaders to step up efforts towards making a nuclear weapons free world.
Tens of thousands of people stood for a minute's silence at 8.30am local time at the ceremony in Hiroshima's peace park near the epicentre of the 1945 attack, marking the moment of the atomic blast.
Then dozens of doves were released as a symbol of peace.
The US bomb, Little Boy, the first atomic one used at war, killed 140,000 people, and a second bomb, Fat Man, dropped over Nagasaki three days later, killed another 70,000, prompting Japan's surrender in the Second World War.
Mr Matsui called the nuclear weapons "the ultimate inhumanity and the absolute evil" that must be abolished.
He criticised nuclear powers for keeping them to achieve their national interests. He said the world still bristles with over 15,000 nuclear weapons.
He renewed an invitation to US president Barack Obama and other world leaders to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki to see the scars themselves.
Little Boy, dropped from the Enola Gay, a B-29 bomber, destroyed 90% of the city and killed an estimated 140,000 people, including those who succumbed to injuries and radiation sickness in the ensuing weeks.