Bells tolled in Hiroshima on Thursday for the 75th anniversary of the world's first atomic bombing, with ceremonies downsized due to the coronavirus and the city's mayor urging nations to reject selfish nationalism and unite to fight all threats.
Though thousands usually pack the Peace Park in the centre of the Japanese city to pray, sing and offer paper cranes as a symbol of peace, entrance was sharply limited and only survivors and their families could attend the memorial ceremony.
The city said the significance of the anniversary of the bombing that killed 140,000 people before the end of 1945 had prompted its decision to hold the ceremony despite the spread of the virus, but taking strict precautions.
"On August 6, 1945, a single atomic bomb destroyed our city. Rumor at the time had it that 'Nothing will grow here for 75 years,'" said mayor Kazumi Matsui.