Atomic bomb survivors call for nuclear abolition ahead of Hiroshima G7 summit

Atomic bomb survivors who attended a rally in Hiroshima have called for the abolition of nuclear weapons, ahead of the G7 summit in the city later this week.

More than 150 people, including survivors known as hibakusha, took part in the gathering.

Sakuma Kunihiko heads a group of survivors in Hiroshima. He was nine months old in 1945 when an atomic bomb exploded over the city.

Sakuma told participants that he suffered kidney and liver diseases when he was in elementary school, and experienced discrimination.

He said he cannot understand the idea of relying on nuclear weapons for security, regardless of whether they are actually used or not.

Sakuma stressed the need to aim for a peaceful world without nuclear arms, which he called "absolute evil."

Young people interested in nuclear policies also participated in the rally.

"Kakuwaka Hiroshima" group member Tanaka Miho said many people were exposed to radiation from nuclear testing and uranium mining over the past 78 years, since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

She pledged to continue working to change the situation toward the 80th anniversary of the bombings.

Participants called for the abolition of nuclear weapons by holding placards saying "No Nuclear Weapons" in the languages of G7 nations, as well as Russian and Chinese.

A 96-year-old man said he was just 18 at a naval academy on the island of Etajima when the atomic bomb was dropped. He said he witnessed the devastation in Hiroshima, and as a doctor saw many survivors who endured suffering for a long time.

He urged world leaders to think seriously about eliminating all nuclear weapons.