• Kyodo


Norway’s King Harald V and Queen Sonja placed flowers Friday at a monument here dedicated to victims of the 1945 atomic bombing of the port city.

The royal couple laid the flowers at the foot of a monolith that marks the point below the atomic bomb explosion after visiting the Hypocenter Park. About 100 nursery school children waved Japanese and Norwegian flags to welcome them.

Nagasaki Mayor Itcho Ito explained the damage and tragedy caused by the bomb to the couple at the park.

The couple, who were on the final day of a two-day visit to Nagasaki, also visited the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum.

On Thursday, King Harald attended a ceremony marking the start of a shipbuilding order from a Norwegian firm at Oshima Shipbuilding Co.’s factory on Oshima Island, facing the East China Sea. Queen Sonja, who majored in art history, visited a kiln used to fire “Mikawachi-yaki,” a traditional Nagasaki Prefecture porcelain, in Sasebo.

The couple are scheduled to leave Japan today, ending a weeklong visit as state guests.

The United States dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, followed by a second bomb on Nagasaki three days later.

As a result, an estimated 130,000 to 140,000 people died in Hiroshima and between 60,000 and 70,000 people died in Nagasaki by the end of 1945.

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