London: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for worldwide nuclear disarmament on the commemoration ceremony of the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima attack.

While addressing an audience of around 40,000 people, Abe added that the atomic bomb not only killed thousands of people in Hiroshima but also caused unspeakable suffering to those who managed to survive.

According to the BBC, the ceremony held at Hiroshima's Peace park near the epicentre of the 1945 attack, witnessed the release of thousands of paper lanterns on the city's Motoyasu river symbolising the journey to the afterlife of those who lost their lives.

Ceremonies began in Hiroshima with a procession by Buddhist monks and local residents, and a 'die-in' by children in front of the Atomic Bomb Dome, one of the few structures left standing close to the blast's epicentre.

People across Japan observed a minute's silence.

In Hiroshima, a bell tolled at 08:15 (Japan Standard Time), in correspondence to the time when the US aircraft had dropped the bomb that flattened the city centre.

On 6 August, 1945, a US B-29 bomber called the Enola Gay had dropped the uranium bomb in the city claiming at least 70,000 lives on that day alone. The attack was followed by a second bomb being dropped on Nagasaki three days later, which is considered to have brought World War II to an end.

Altogether, the horrific incident claimed the lives of at least 1,40,000 people in Japan.