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Japan celebrated the 72nd anniversary of the Hiroshima nuclear bombing, the world's agencies said on Sunday.

Japan is the only country to have suffered atomic attacks. "I also pray for the peace of the A-bomb victims and the bereaved families, those attending here as well as the citizens of Hiroshima city". OREPA has events each August remembering the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki near the end of World War II.

"Our dream of a world free of nuclear weapons remains far from reality", said Guterres in his message delivered on his behalf by High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu at an annual memorial held in Hiroshima, Japan, for the victims of the atomic bomb dropped on the city on Sunday in 1945.

He referred to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons approved July 7 at a United Nations conference and said, "the governments of all countries must now strive to advance further toward a nuclear-weapon-free world".

"This hell is not a thing of the past", said Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui in his peace declaration at yesterday's ceremony.

Hiroshima calls on policymakers to make efforts to overcome their differences, become more aware of the inhumanity of nuclear weapons and consider the perspectives of other countries. You could find yourself suffering their cruelty.

Nuclear weapons are useless for national security, and possessing them does nothing more than endanger humanity.

Former Assistant UN Secretary General Denis Halliday says nuclear weapons have only been used once - on Japan in 1945 - but remain a real threat.

A number of speakers also talked about the United Nations last month adopting an worldwide treaty banning nuclear weapons.

They have reminded the world of the devastating humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons, he said, expressing United Nations support for a global effort towards a world free of nuclear weapons.