Japan on Saturday commemorated the 71st anniversary of the day the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. A peace bell was tolled at 8.15 am (local time), the time when the warplane bombed the city.

Mayor of Hiroshima Kazumi Matsui urged world leaders to take US President Barack Obama's example and encourage nuclear powers to give up the weapons, Reuters reported. Matsui said, "The president's words showed he was touched by the spirit of Hiroshima, which refuses to accept the 'absolute evil'." In a first visit by a sitting American president to the Japanese city, Obama had said his visit was "a testament to how even the most painful of divides can be bridged".

On August 6, 1945, thousands of people died immediately – and more than 140,000 by the end of the year – after the US dropped the atomic bomb on the city, during the final stages of World War II.

This is how the day was marked in the country: