BEIJING, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- It is a day for remembering the cruelty of war and praying for peace when people gathered in Hiroshima on Wednesday to mark the 69th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of the Japanese city.
Sixty-nine years ago, a U.S. B-29 bomber dropped an atomic bomb, nicknamed "Little Boy," on Hiroshima. Three days later, the Japanese port city of Nagasaki was leveled off by a second nuclear bomb.
The two attacks devoured hundreds of thousands of lives and left survivors struggling with unbearable pains for the rest of their life due to radiation exposure.
That serves as a cruel reminder that war makes everyone suffer and the hard-won peace is so precious.
Japan was an aggressor in the Second World War and inflicted horrendous losses of lives and massive destruction on its Asian neighbors.
The Japanese people, who love peace like others on the globe, were also victimized after their country was dragged into the war by a militarist government.
Up to today, Japan remains the only country that has been attacked by an atomic bomb.
To prevent repetition of the tragedy, one should not only remember those sufferings, but also learn from history.
Unfortunately and alarmingly, the current Japanese government led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has shown little respect to the history and embarked on an agenda reminiscent of the notorious militarism, which has contributed to the rising tensions between Japan and its neighbors, including China.
By visiting Yasukuni Shrine, where Japanese war criminals in the Second World War are honored, Abe disregarded the feelings of those people in neighboring countries who cannot forget the atrocities Japanese aggressors once committed.
By eviscerating the post-war pacifist constitution to allow the exercise of the right to collective self-defense, Abe is removing the bedrocks of a peaceful Japan and putting the country on a dangerous path.
All these present more reason to mark the anniversary.
Just as Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui urged in his Peace Declaration issued Wednesday, the Japanese government should accept the full weight of the fact that Japan has avoided war for 69 years thanks to the noble pacifism of the Japanese Constitution, and Japan must continue as a nation of peace in both word and deed.
On a day of suffering, remembering history is to safeguard peace. That is the voice of the people that Abe should heed.