Japan marks 68th anniversary of Hiroshima bombing

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HIROSHIMA, Japan (AP) — Japan is commemorating the 68th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima with pledges to seek to eliminate nuclear weapons.

Some 50,000 people gathered Tuesday in Hiroshima's peace park near the epicenter of the 1945 blast that killed up to 140,000 people. The bombing of Nagasaki three days later killed tens of thousands more, prompting Japan's surrender to the World War II Allies.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that as the sole country to face nuclear attack, Japan has the duty to seek to wipe out nuclear weapons.

The anniversary comes as Japan is torn over restarting nuclear power plants shut down since a 2011 accident in Fukushima. More than 100,000 people remain displaced. Abe favors restarting plants under new safety guidelines, while many Japanese oppose such restarts.

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