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Christian missionary on Hiroshima: "This can never happen again"

by Hannah Tooley

Services have been held to remember when the United States targeted the city with a nuclear bomb close to the end of the Second World War, killing around 140-thousand people.

Japan is now trying to encourage moves towards a nuclear weapons-free world.

Sheila Norris, a missionary based in Japan, agrees: "Atomic bomb survivors who went to New York to protest against atomic bombings earlier in the year had a slogan that effectively says 'the atomic bombing took one second, but the effects have lasted 70 years.'"

Tens of thousands of people stood to mark a minute of silence in Hiroshima's peace park near the epicentre of the 1945 attack and doves were released as a symbol of peace.

The US bomb was the first of its type used at war, and along with a second in Nagasaki three days later, which killed another 70,000 people, acted as a catalyst prompting Japan's surrender in the Second World War.

Sheila Norris told Premier: "I think the people who're telling their stories are doing so with the message, this can never happen again, and recognise the damage that was done to the lives of individuals and communities through atomic bombing."

She added that church-goers were remembering the event in a personal way: "Church members were asked to write their memories of the war and messages and these have been edited into a book that will be distributed."

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