Melbourne, June 9 : Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, the first Western leader to visit Hiroshima after it was destroyed by an atomic bomb in 1945, has called for an end to nuclear weapons.
"Hiroshima should cause the world community to resolve afresh that all humankind must exert their every effort for peace in this 21st century,"' Rudd said.
"We, the people of the Asia-Pacific region, should resolve afresh to make this Asia-Pacific century a century of peace and, for the world at large, that we should aspire now for a world free of nuclear weapons," he added.
Rudd started his visit to Japan, aimed at easing doubts about his commitment to the two countries' alliance, with a tour of Hiroshima, where a partially destroyed dome lies as a memorial to the nuclear attack.
The Australian Prime Minister laid a wreath and toured a museum documenting the August 6, 1945 attack, News.com.au reported.
The US dropped an atomic bomb on the city, killing about 140,000 people either immediately or in the months that followed from radiation injuries or horrific burns.
Three days later, an even more powerful nuclear bomb flattened Nagasaki, killing another 70,000 people. Japan surrendered six days afterwards, ending World War II.
Rudd has taken a harder line on nuclear issues since taking office last year, reversing a decision to sell uranium to India because New Delhi has not signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.