As their cities marked the 74th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings, the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki this week used their annual peace declarations to heap pressure on the central government to join a U.N. treaty banning nuclear weapons.

Their words reflected the frustrations of the cities' residents at the government's reluctance to make proactive efforts toward a world free of nuclear weapons and come amid concerns that a new arms race could unfold among major atomic powers.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was passed in July 2017 with the support of 122 nations, but has yet to take effect since it has not been ratified by the required 50.