Japan commemorated the 70th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima on Thursday with renewed determination to abolish nuclear weapons and pursue world peace, although many people said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's drive to expand the country's military role weakened such pledges.

Global interest in the anniversary appeared particularly high this year.

The annual ceremony at Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park drew foreign ambassadors and dignitaries from a record 100 countries, including the nuclear armed United States, United Kingdom, Russia and France.