On two days in August 1945, U.S. planes dropped two atomic bombs, one on Hiroshima, one on Nagasaki, the first and only time nuclear weapons have been used. Their destructive power was unprecedented, incinerating buildings and people, and leaving lifelong scars on survivors, not just physical but also psychological, and on the cities themselves. Days later, World War II was over.
Here are the AP's plans for coverage in Asia of the 70th anniversary of the A-bomb attacks and Japan's surrender:
SATURDAY, AUG. 1:
TOKYO -- The original recording of late emperor Hirohito's war-ending speech 70 years ago is publicly released for the first time and in digital form. His voice on the radio was nearly inaudible to many at the time because of poor sound quality. This version may be clearer, but Japanese today may have trouble understanding the arcane language. By Mari Yamaguchi. UPCOMING: 700 words by 0700GMT, photos.
SUNDAY, AUG. 2:
TOKYO -- With the average age of atomic bomb survivors now over 80, young Japanese are devoting themselves to learn from their elders so they can carry their memories on to the next generation. By Mari Yamaguchi. UPCOMING: 700 words by 0700GMT, photos.
MONDAY, AUG. 3:
AP WAS THERE-WWII'S END
The Associated Press' original reporting of three historic stories at the end of World War II: The atomic-bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Japanese surrender. With AP Photos.
TUESDAY, AUG. 4:
HIROSHIMA, Japan -- This shattered dome, this skeleton of a building, once housed Kimie Mihara's office. Her co-workers were killed here by the atomic bomb blast, and if she had not been late to work that day she would be among the ghosts. "I didn't want to see this place for a long time," the 89-year-old said. A man less than half her age, meanwhile, has made what's now known as the Atomic Bomb Dome his life's work. He wades through the shallow water of the nearby Motoyasu River at low tide, searching for the bricks and stones that were blasted away. By Kaori Hitomi. UPCOMING: 1,000 words by 0700GMT, photos, video.
WEDNESDAY, AUG. 5:
HIROSHIMA, Japan -- A then-and-now look at Hiroshima with photos after the bombing paired with photos or videos of the same scenes today. By Eugene Hoshiko. UPCOMING: 350 words, photos, interactive.
THURSDAY, AUG. 6:
HIROSHIMA, Japan -- Spot coverage of an annual ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, which killed an estimated 140,000 people. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy to attend. Text, photos, video.
JAPAN-A-BOMB-BY THE NUMBERS
HIROSHIMA, Japan -- Numbers telling the story of the atomic blast. UPCOMING: 300 words, photos.
FRIDAY, AUG. 7:
HIROSHIMA, Japan -- Since 1970, there has been a place for people who lost it all in the Hiroshima atomic blast: their physical and mental health, families, even jobs and a chance at getting married. Harmed by both radiation and stigma, some 600 elderly victims of the attack now live in four Hiroshima nursing homes devoted to them. "This place is where people marked with the same scar huddle together," the director says. By Kaori Hitomi. UPCOMING: 1,000 words, photos, video.
SATURDAY, AUG. 8:
JAPAN-A-BOMB-ONE MAN'S SCARS-PHOTO ESSAY
NAGASAKI, Japan -- Photographs of Nagasaki survivor and activist Sumiteru Taniguchi reflect the 70 years of pain he has endured from the attack. By Miki Toda. UPCOMING: 300 words, photos by Eugene Hoshiko.
SUNDAY, AUG. 9:
NAGASAKI, Japan -- Coverage of an annual ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. Text, photos, video.
NAGASAKI, Japan -- Nagasaki's Catholic community, Japan's largest, was hit especially hard by the atomic bomb there, which collapsed Urakami Cathedral as worshippers attended Mass. The head of the Virgin Mary statue, found under the debris, is displayed in the rebuilt church and taken out every Aug. 9 in the afternoon for a street procession. By Miki Toda. UPCOMING: 400 words, photos, video.
MONDAY, AUG. 10:
NAM TOK, Thailand -- An aging Australian slogs along the 415-kilometer (257-mile) length of Thailand's Death Railway, immortalized in "The Bridge on the River Kwai" and elsewhere. With his own money, he maps its vanishing course, uncovers POW relics and with his vast database helps brings closure to offspring of those who perished, and survivors who went to their graves never having shared their traumas. By Denis D. Gray. UPCOMING: 1,200 words by 0700GMT, photos, video.
WEDNESDAY, AUG. 12:
JAPAN-GERMANY-PARAGON AND PARIAH
SEOUL, South Korea -- Both nations brutalized continents. Both slaughtered and abused tens of millions of people. But Germany's neighbors and Japan's have vastly different views on their former occupiers. A look at some of the reasons why. By Foster Klug. UPCOMING: 1,300 words by 0700GMT, photos.
SATURDAY, AUG. 15:
TOKYO -- Japan holds its annual solemn ceremony marking the end of the war. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the emperor will speak. It may be earlier in the week when Abe delivers a highly anticipated 70th anniversary statement that China and South Korea will watch closely whether he is expressing contrition for the war and upholding apologies by past Japanese leaders. Text, photos, video.