• Kyodo


An antinuclear torch relay scheduled to pass through all 86 cities, towns and villages in Hiroshima Prefecture began Tuesday, with participants voicing hope that the world will not experience war or a nuclear attack in the 21st century.

The 12-member lead group of runners, including Kazuo Harada, secretary general of a Hiroshima prefectural group to promote peace, began the 20th relay as it set out from Hiroshima Peace Park at 8:15 a.m., the time the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on the city Aug. 6, 1945, during World War II.

About 40 people, including survivors of the bombing, observed a moment of silence near the Cenotaph for Atomic Bomb Victims during a ceremony to commemorate the start of the relay.

According to organizers, the relay will cover about 1,816 km and end July 26, when the last batch of runners arrives back at the park. Some 10,000 people are expected to participate in the event.

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