Japan on Thursday marked the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima with the most senior official from Washington ever scheduled to attend memorial ceremonies.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and foreign delegates observed a moment of silence at 8:15 AM local time (2315 GMT), when the detonation turned the western Japanese city into an inferno.
An American B-29 bomber named Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb, named “Little Boy”, on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, in one of the final chapters of World War II.
About 140,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the attack, including those who survived the bombing itself but died afterwards due to severe radiation exposure.
On August 9, the port city of Nagasaki was also attacked with an atomic bomb, killing more than 70,000 people.
Japan surrendered days later, on August 15, 1945, bringing the war to a close.
Under-secretary for arms control Rose Gottemoeller will be the most-senior US official sent from Washington to the annual memorial.
US ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy will also be present at Peace Memorial Park in downtown Hiroshima.