Japanese students use VR to recreate Hiroshima bombing

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The bombings, the first atomic attacks on humans, closed World War II and opened the nuclear age.

A ceremony was held at the Peace Memorial Park, where Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that Japan's responsibility is to bridge the gap between nuclear and non-nuclear nations.

Abe said in an apparent reference to the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons adopted last year that differences among countries about how to promote nuclear disarmament have become evident in recent years. Later that year, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, or ICAN, which led efforts to campaign for the treaty, won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.

By transporting users back in time to the moment when a city was turned into a wasteland, the students at Fukuyama, within the Hiroshima prefecture, and their teacher hope to ensure nothing similar ever happens again.

Foreign Minister Zarif in a tweet on Monday remembered the 73rd anniversary of the United States' nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, describing the USA as the "first and only" country to ever use nukes, "on an urban center of all targets".

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Without naming specific nations, Matsui warned that "certain countries are explicitly expressing self-centered nationalism and modernizing their nuclear arsenals". It was the first use of nuclear weapons against human beings.

"Maintaining its three non-nuclear principles, our country is determined to make strenuous efforts to serve as a bridge between both parties", Abe said.

Speakers include Michael Vaughn, a military veteran; Denise Donnell of the Just Communities of Arkansas organization; Tristan Norman, a Hendrix College student-delegate who visited Japan earlier this year; and Frank LeBlanc, pastor of Westover Hills Presbyterian Church. "That is precisely why we must continue talking about Hiroshima", Matsui said.

Pigeons fly over the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, Japan, on August 6, 2018.

Tomie Makita, 88, of Hiroshima pays a visit to the park every year on August 6 to remember the bombing that claimed the lives of her friends.

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Another Hiroshima resident Yoshinobu Ota, 71, was born after the bombing.

"Those who knew the city very well tell us it's done very well".

"My mother used to say an atomic bomb instantly destroys people's lives", Ota said.

His call however highlighted Japan's contradictory relationship with nuclear weapons.

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