Japanese city of Hiroshima Tuesday commemorated the 57th anniversary of its atomic bombing with a pledge to promoting peace and renouncing war, Japan's Kyodo News reported.
In an annual peace declaration, Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akibavowed to do his utmost to "create a century of peace and humanity."
He also warned that the probabilities that nuclear weapons willbe used and the danger of nuclear war are increasing, the report said.
Akiba urged the Japanese government to reject nuclear arms and renounce war, as well as assist all atomic-bomb victims, especially survivors living overseas.
The mayor also urged U.S. President George W. Bush to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki and "confirm with his own eyes what nuclear weapons hold in store for us all."
It was the first annual memorial for A-bomb victims since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States and subsequent U.S.-led military campaign in Afghanistan.
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi attended the ceremony in the Peace Memorial Park in Naka Ward, his second attendance at the annual event.
Koizumi renewed his pledge to maintain Japan's three avowed principles of not producing, not possessing and not allowing nuclear arms on Japan's soil.
"This position will not change," he was quoted as saying.
"Japan will continue efforts to ask other countries to join the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty for its early enforcement," he added.
The 50-minute ceremony started at 8 a.m. (local time) with Akiba and two representatives of A-bomb victims' family put two books under an arch-shaped cenotaph in the park which lists names of 4,977 people newly recognized as A-bomb victims by the city government since Aug. 6 last year.
As the peace bell resounded through the park, some 45,000 participants observed a minute's silence for the bomb victims from8:15 a.m. (local time), the time when the U.S. B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped the first nuclear weapon on the western Japan city 57 years ago.
The blast and its aftereffects killed an estimated 140,000 people by the end of 1945.
The number of victims from the atomic bombing in the city totaled 226,870 as of Monday, according to Kyodo.