Japan marked the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima, the atomic bombing that took place in 1945, on Thursday. Mayor Kazumi Matsui renewed calls for U.S President Barack Obama and other world leaders to continue to increase efforts toward eliminating nuclear weapons from the world, reported USA Today.

Matsui called for the abolishing of nuclear weapons, calling them "the ultimate inhumanity and evil," and criticized those still using them to achieve their own national interests.

Thousands of people participated in the anniversary and stood for a minute of silence at 8:30 a.m. at Hiroshima's peace park, which is located at the epicenter of the 1945 attack. The first bombing killed 140,000 people while the second bombing, which took place over Nagasaki three days after the initial attack, killed another 70,000.

Some of the national attendants at this year's anniversary included U.S Ambassador Caroline Kennedy and various representatives from all over the world including Britain, France and Russia, reported CTV News.

"We must establish a broad national security framework that does not rely on use of force but is based on trust," said Matsui. "Now is the time to take action."

The anniversary comes at a time when Japan is divided over Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push to pass legislation that will expand the country's military role around the world.

As a symbol of the victims' journey to the afterlife, thousands of paper lanterns are to by released on the Motoyasu Rive at a later time, reported ITV News.